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Small businesses in the Buffalo region received loans totaling $3.9 million from the New York Business Development Corp.-Business New York in 1997.

On a statewide level, the privately owned financial organization logged its sixth consecutive record-breaking year of lending to small businesses. Its $188.3 million loan portfolio was up by more than $28 million, an 18 percent increase over 1996 levels.

Robert W. Lazar, NYBDC-Business New York president and chief executive officer, is predicting another double-digit increase in the coming year.

Local companies receiving loans included Sabreland/KPC Sports Inc. for the acquisition of a facility in Wheatfield. Other loans went to Professional Rehabilitation Associations of Western New York Inc., a Lackawanna work injury recovery center, for the purchase of a commercial property; Frederick Machine Repair Inc. of Buffalo, for the purchase of real estate, and Ross John Sr., to help finance the construction of a convenience store, gas station, car wash and Burger King franchise in Salamanca.

Rockford Door & Hardware Inc. of Orchard Park also received a loan for the expansion of its manufacturing operations.

Officials from NYBDC-Business New York said 235 loans totaling $71.7 million were approved statewide in 1997, helping to create or retain more than 3,300 jobs.

The organization is funded by 153 banks and is the largest provider of Small Business Administration Section 504 commercial second-mortgage loans in the state and one of the largest in the nation.

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