The Atlanta Development Authority last week closed on its first small business loan transaction in the empowerment zone loan fund.

The zone is an area in and around downtown. The ADA has received many applications for new small business loans, especially since businesses are finding it harder to access capital in today's credit-challenged market, the agency said.

The Lynch Law Group has received $130,000 to renovate its existing space in downtown Atlanta, as well as to expand its practice. Three additional businesses are expected to receive funding within the next eight weeks, and seven other business applications are pending.

In June, the ADA was awarded $3 million for the community revolving loan fund, most of which will be used for renovations and capital improvements for small businesses in the zone.

The ADA received the $3 million from the Atlanta Renewal Community, which was allocated federal funds six years ago to help rebuild disenfranchised communities. The funds must be committed by December.

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