The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh is using new authority to increase funding for small businesses.

The 400-member bank has introduced a $5 million per year Banking on Business program intended to promote and expand small businesses in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware. The $5 million equals 8% of all subsidy financing currently available to small businesses in the region, the bank said.

"If you wanted to create jobs so more people can afford houses, you increase the number of small businesses or enable them to expand," said James D. Roy, president and chief executive of the $51 billion-asset Home Loan bank.

In 1998 the Federal Housing Finance Board granted authority to the 12 Federal Home Loan banks to do more economic development outside of the housing sector. The Pittsburgh bank is the first of them to develop a community development program.

- Veronica Agosta

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