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Convenience Store Owner Gets Boost From Small Business Grant

Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Logo

LELAND, Miss., March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dorothee Johnson was the co-owner of a small convenience store for several years, but recently decided she wanted to venture out and open her own business.

"I just wanted something of my own," she said. She worked on her business plan with a small business administration (SBA) office, and the SBA staff told her about a grant program that could help her with start-up costs.

Ms. Johnson reached out to Planters Bank & Trust Company in Leland, Mississippi. Planters Bank & Trust is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Ms. Johnson qualified for a loan from Planters Bank & Trust, which was funded by a low-cost Economic Development Program (EDP) advance from FHLB Dallas. In addition, she was able to obtain a $6,375 EDPPlus grant.

EDPPlus grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Planters Bank & Trust, and are offered in conjunction with EDP advances. The EDP provides favorably priced advances to FHLB Dallas member institutions to support economic development and community revitalization projects that qualify by location, income, or targeted services.

If a member institution is approved for an EDP advance, the member's customer may then be eligible for an accompanying EDPPlus grant. EDPPlus grants are noncompetitive and available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small business development and job creation in underserved areas or to underserved populations. FHLB Dallas has made available $1 million in EDPPlus grant funds in 2013.

Ms. Johnson applied the grant toward inventory costs. She used the loan to assist with acquiring a building in Leland, Mississippi, and opened D D Stop & Go in September 2012.

"It took about two months to work on the building and get everything ready to open," she said.

Robbie Howe, president of Planters Bank & Trust's Leland office, said Ms. Johnson learned that Planters Bank & Trust utilized the EDP and EDPPlus program and came to him for a loan.

"Once we looked at the deal, the EDPPlus program made sense for her," Mr. Howe said. "Ms. Johnson had the money to put down, but the grant gave her a little cushion to get her business off the ground."

Although Planters Bank & Trust has used the EDPPlus program to assist 22 businesses since 2003, Ms. Johnson's business was the first EDPPlus grant Mr. Howe personally handled.

"My first thought was that it would be more paper work, but in the end, I will say that it was a very smooth process," Mr. Howe said. "Working with the staff at FHLB Dallas was very pleasant and the process was actually a lot smoother and more pleasant that I expected."

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $35.8 billion as of December 31, 2012, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3013

CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445

Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas