Assembly Approves Expansion of the Linked Deposit Program

June 16, 2006

The State Assembly has approved legislation (A.3209/S.445) that would allow qualifying businesses located in certain economically distressed areas to be eligible for business loans at the most beneficial interest rate provided through the state’s Excelsior Linked Deposit program. “Improving proven initiatives like the Linked Deposit Program enables us to provide additional special help to small businesses across the state,” said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.

“In 1993, I developed and sponsored the legislation that created the Linked Deposit Program,” said Schimminger, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry. “Over the years, I have continually reevaluated the program to make changes to update and streamline the program and maximize its benefits for businesses, including extending the availability of the loans, increasing both the maximum loan amount and the monies available for ‘linked’ loans, and extending the term of the loans."

The Linked Deposit Program encourages businesses to improve their performance and competitiveness by using state deposits to leverage low-cost loans. The loans are available through 74 lending institutions, including commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, farm credit institutions and the New York Business Development Corporation.

Currently, most qualifying businesses are eligible for a linked loan interest rate that is two percentage points lower than the prevailing rate on such loans. Eligible firms that qualify for a three-percent interest rate subsidy include certified small businesses located in state-designated Empire Zones and highly distressed areas, any certified minority or woman-owned business, and certain defense industry manufacturers. This bill includes in that list small businesses located in areas designated under the Federal Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000 as federal empowerment zones, enterprise communities and renewal communities.

“Since its inception, the Linked Deposit Program has funded more than 2,600 projects for a total amount of some $928 million dollars, leveraging close to $2 billion dollars in new capital investment by businesses in New York State,” said Schimminger. “Hopefully the Senate will also vote before it recesses to expand the Linked Deposit Program so that its continued positive effects can be seen throughout New York State.” Senator William Larkin sponsors the legislation in the State Senate.