HARTFORD, Conn. - Shawmut National Corp. said its Connecticut National Bank unit has committed $230 million in loans to Connecticut businesses in partnership with the state development authority's Connecticut Works Fund.

Under the preferred-lender program, which took effect in June, the state insures 20% to 40% of a commercial loan by a private bank against loss. That enables banks to extend credit to businesses that don't meet normal underwriting criteria, Shawmut said.

Connecticut National Bank recently was named a preferred lender by the development authority.

Connecticut National also has earmarked $50 million for loans to small businesses. Of that amount, $30 million is part of the $230 million preferred-lender commitment.

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