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I am grateful to The News for its coverage of the announcement that the New York Business Development Corp. (NYBDC) has set up shop in Buffalo's Olympic Towers. This is a significant event for Western New York's entire business community, but especially for small businesses.

NYBDC has been working for 45 years to help small businesses throughout the state prosper and grow. Funded by 159 member banks, NYBDC operates in partnership with local banks and administers loans and equity investments for promising companies. It is the state's largest provider of Small Business Administration commercial second-mortgage loans. It also specializes in loans geared toward small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels.

About 20 percent of NYBDC's $282 million loan portfolio is in Western New York, so it is no stranger to our communities. The new office, however, will help NYBDC be even more responsive to, and in touch with, our needs. Its presence here will be a welcome boost to economic development and the future growth of our region.


President, First Niagara Bank


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