WASHINGTON — The Small Business Administration on Wednesday said it is permanently expanding a lending program that may take pressure off the struggling commercial real estate market.

The expansion of the agency's 504 lending program, which targets small businesses that put up fixed assets such as real estate and equipment as collateral, is intended to let borrowers roll existing debt into new loans. Borrowers will be eligible to roll over up to 50% of the total cost of a project like buying equipment or renovating a building.

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