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300 BUSINESS OWNERS APPLY FOR INTEREST-FREE SMALL-BUSINESS LOANS ADMINISTERED BY THE BEACON COUNCIL

 300 BUSINESS OWNERS APPLY FOR INTEREST-FREE SMALL-BUSINESS
 LOANS ADMINISTERED BY THE BEACON COUNCIL
 MIAMI, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Some 300 owners of South Florida small businesses damaged by Hurricane Andrew applied for short-term, interest-free loans during the first three days of a $10 million, state- funded program administered by The Beacon Council, Dade County's economic development organization.
 Gov. Lawton Chiles announced the short-term loan program, an emergency appropriation from the state's working capital fund, last Friday. The program, providing loans between $5,000 and $25,000 for up to 180 days, is sponsored by the Florida Department of Commerce.
 At 9 a.m. Saturday, a team of Miami area bankers who had volunteered to process the loan applications, began accepting them at The Beacon Council's offices, located in the World Trade Plaza, 80 S.W. Eighth St., Ste. 2400, Miami.
 Applications were accepted at that site from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day of the three-day Labor Day weekend.
 Beginning today, applications will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. each business day in the lobby of The Beacon Council's offices and at eight other designated sites in Dade County. Most sites will be offices of banks that are participating in the program. (A list of the 9 locations follows.)
 A loan committee, made up of Miami area bankers and community leaders, is reviewing applications and recommending who should receive loans. Approved loan applicants will be notified within three business days after submitting completed applications.
 To be eligible for a loan from the emergency fund, a business must:
 -- be based in Dade County or another Florida county affected by
 Hurricane Andrew and be able to produce records that certify
 its operations were directly affected by the storm. (Copies of
 invoices, receipts, loss claims and/or damage estimates must be
 submitted with the application.)
 -- employ between two people and 100 people.
 -- be in business a minimum of two years (some exceptions will be
 granted to businesses that are one-year-old).
 For additional information about the zero-percent emergency loan program, including a list of the sites where applications are being accepted, call The Beacon Council's Business Assistance Hotline at 305-536-8006.
 SHORT-TERM, INTEREST-FREE SMALL BUSINESS LOAN APPLICATION SITES
 Following is a list of sites where owners of businesses damaged by Hurricane Andrew may obtain and submit applications -- from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during business days -- for interest-free, short-term loans.
 -- BAC Funding Corp. -- Hialeah-Dade Development, Inc.
 6600 N.W. 27th Ave. 501 Palm Ave.
 Miami, FL Hialeah, FL
 -- Barnett Bank -- Miami Capital Development, Inc.
 701 Brickell Ave. Dupont Plaza Center
 Miami, FL 300 Biscayne Blvd. Way
 Miami, FL
 -- The Beacon Council
 80 S.W. Eighth St. -- Sun Bank
 Suite 2400 8300 Bird Road
 Miami, FL Miami, FL
 -- Capital Bank -- West Perrine Enterprise Center
 2151 LeJeune Road (J.R. Shephard Center)
 Coral Gables, FL S.W. Homestead Ave. & Indigo St.
 West Perrine, FL
 -- First Union Bank
 4299 N.W. 36th St., 1st Floor
 Miami, FL
 -0- 9/8/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Albee or Mary Di Landro of The Beacon Council, 305-536-8000/ CO: The Beacon Council ST: Florida IN: SU:


JB-JJ -- FL015 -- 7208 09/08/92 17:25 EDT
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Date:Sep 8, 1992
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