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WALT DISNEY PLEDGES TO RAISE $1 MILLION TO FUND URBAN DEVELOPMENT MICRO LOAN PROGRAM

 WALT DISNEY PLEDGES TO RAISE $1 MILLION
 TO FUND URBAN DEVELOPMENT MICRO LOAN PROGRAM
 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) announced that the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has pledged to raise $1 million for a newly developed revolving micro loan fund established to encourage new business development and to assist existing business expansion throughout the minority communities of Los Angeles.
 The fund -- the FAME Micro Loan Program -- will:
 -- Lend capital to businesses for fixed asset acquisition;
 -- Provide working capital for inventory; and
 -- Provide seed money for new business start-ups.
 The fund will target the following Los Angeles communities: Compton, Crenshaw Corridor, East Los Angeles, Koreatown, Lynwood, West Adams and Watts. All residents and individuals who reside in these areas are eligible to apply to a multiracial loan committee overseeing the selection process.
 According to Dr. Cecil L. Murray, Senior Minister of First AME Church, the FAME Micro Loan Program will offer minority business the opportunity to expand their operations as well as offering those within the community the resources for starting their own ventures.
 Murray added that the program will particularly benefit those who for any reason are not eligible to receive loans from traditional lending sources.
 It is estimated that during the initial phase of the program, more than 30 new businesses will be established with the creation of 150 new jobs. It is also expected that the fund will improve the expansion capital of 30 established businesses.
 "We are looking towards this program to foster self-sufficiency, self-respect, community economic growth and pride," said Murray. "The Church and its surrounding community hails Disney in forging this new partnership."
 Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, in a letter to employees announcing the micro loan program and the company's commitment to match employee contributions on a dollar-to-dollar basis, stated: "We are determined to do our part to help rebuild and reestablish our community as a place that can confront, overcome and triumph."
 Under current guidelines established, any business and/or individual is eligible for a loan ranging from $2000 to $20,000. Those not eligible for loans are liquor stores, pawn shops, pornography-related businesses or mortgage brokers.
 The Micro Loan Program will be administered by the FAME Assistance Corp.'s (a subsidiary of First AME Church) L.A. Renaissance Project.
 "This program is not by any means a one-shot effort," said Murray. "Rather it is designed to encourage and empower our communities in shaping their own destiny and will be the springboard in building the Los Angeles of the future."
 -0- 8/31/92
 /CONTACT: Joe Fox, FAME Assistance Corp., 213-737-0897/
 (DIS) CO: Walt Disney Co.; First AME Church ST: California IN: SU:


LS-JB -- LA025 -- 5194 08/31/92 18:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1992
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