A Treasury Department program that supplies credit to small businesses spurred $1.9 billion in loans and created or saved 53,000 jobs in its first 18 months of operation, the department says.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative, or SSBCI, claimed in its first annual report that it has enabled loans to more than 4,600 small businesses through state-backed programs. The program is designed to allow small businesses to use the money they receive to attract additional, private capital. So far $811 million of the $1.5 billion allocated to the program has been disbursed, and states have spent $565 million, permitting $1.9 billion of total lending, including this leverage.

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