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 DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- First Union National Bank of North Carolina has agreed to donate its Wellons Village office at 1700 Holloway Street to the Center for Community Self-Help for establishment of a microenterprise and nonprofit services center.
 The center will be a place where small service businesses and nonprofit organizations can share office space and other resources. Self-Help already has approximately 20 micro-loan borrowers, many of them low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs from eastern Durham, and expects another 20-30 in the next year. A number of these businesses offer services appropriate for the Wellons Village building, such as custom tailoring, legal research and accounting.
 "These are businesses that cannot afford a storefront in a mall and need a place to test their retail capability," said Martin Eakes, executive director of Self-Help. "While small business incubators have become well known, the concept of a microbusiness and nonprofit service incubator in a low-cost retail location is unique. To my knowledge, this will be the first of its kind anywhere in the country."
 William G. Smith, First Union's Durham area executive, said establishment of the incubator fits in well with First Union's community reinvestment goals.
 "We're very pleased that First Union can make a significant contribution to this innovative new program," Smith said. "We're committed to making our communities the strongest, most vital and rewarding places they can be for people to live and work. This project is one more way to help make that happen."
 Eakes estimates that one to four small service businesses or nonprofits can use the 1,400-square-foot building. One of the major assets of the property is the available parking, which makes it ideal for retail or service use, he said. Only five or six of the more than 20 parking spaces will be used for employee parking, leaving the remainder for customers.
 First Union vacated the building during the summer when its Wellons operations were consolidated into its new location at 210 N. Roxboro St.
 This contribution to Self-Help is part of First Union's overall community reinvestment initiative. First Union's Durham office recently agreed to finance two new low- and moderate-income properties in Durham. First Union will finance 15 of the 19 units at Mangum Court to individual buyers and will finance individual units at Peachtree Place. First Union is also helping finance the development of Oxford Commons, another low- and moderate-income housing project in Durham.
 Earlier this year, First Union sold its former regional headquarters building in a prime location in downtown Greensboro to Self-Help to establish a nonprofit office center. Tenant organizations in the 10- story tower share office space and other resources in order to reduce their administrative costs.
 Self-Help supports housing, small business and community development projects for low-income, minority and rural residents throughout North Carolina who might not qualify for traditional financing. Since its establishment in 1980, Self-Help has made nearly $50 million in loans to North Carolinians through its offices in Durham, Charlotte, Asheville and Greenville.
 First Union National Bank of North Carolina supports more than a dozen loan consortiums and partnerships to encourage community development throughout the state. The bank is a principal subsidiary of Charlotte-based First Union Corporation (NYSE: FTU FTUpr) and operates 250 offices in North Carolina
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: (Media) Sandy Deem of First Union, 704-374-2710 or (home) 704-567-1176/

CO: First Union Corporation; First Union National Bank of North
 Carolina ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:

CM-SB -- CH003 -- 5355 11/17/93 10:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993

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