SACO — The Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corporation is one of 20 national community lending organizations to participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Intermediary Lending Pilot Program. 

The program will loan up to $1 million to the community lending organization for fiscal year 2011, so the corporation can in turn make loans up to $200,000 to qualifying small businesses. 

“The Intermediary Lending Pilot Program is an important new tool to support businesses in underserved markets,” Marie Johns, deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration, said. “Partnering with community lenders will increase points of access to capital for startup and businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the recession.”

The Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corporation was established nearly 20 years ago by the two cities and the Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It currently administers five revolving loan programs totaling $5.2 million.

“The Intermediary Lending Pilot Program will increase Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corporation’s financial resources and expand access to capital for small businesses and drive economic growth and job creation in York County,” Will Armitage, executive director of the corporation, said.