HAGERSTOWN -- Two Hagerstown businesses were the first to benefit from a new state program that helps banks provide reduced-interest loans to minority- and female-owned businesses, government officials announced Friday.
Stamper Builders, a general contracting business owned by Milton Stamper, a Cherokee Indian; and Amtrac Railroad Contractors of Maryland, owned by Jacqueline L. Manzini, each obtained loans in May from Hagerstown Trust through the Maryland Linked Deposit Program.
Hagerstown Trust and the two businesses were recognized by state officials Friday afternoon at a ceremony at Hagerstown Trust's main branch at 83 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.
Under the program, a bank provides a loan to a certified Minority Business Enterprise at a rate 2 percent lower than the bank otherwise would charge. In return, the State Treasurer's Office purchases from that bank a certificate of deposit in an amount equal to the amount of the loan and accepts a 2 percent reduction in the interest rate on the certificate of deposit.