Southern National Corp. plans to invest $2 million in a South Carolina loan fund to make small-business loans in low- to moderate-income areas.

The South Carolina fund, created in 1983, has lent more than $80 million to 300 small businesses and has issued more than $800 million of industrial revenue bonds for 127 businesses in the state.

"South Carolina has one of the lowest rates of small-business formation of any state, and this needs to improve," said Rob Greene, senior executive vice president of Southern National subsidiary Branch Banking & Trust Corp.

South Carolina businesses in operation for more than a year and with annual sales of less than $1 million may apply for loans of $10,000 to $75,000 from the South Carolina Jobs and Economic Development Authority.

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