- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Northeastern University is starting a loan program for businesses in Boston owned by women and minorities.

The private college of 19,000 students announced its new Impact Lending program on Tuesday with the support of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The university says it’s committing an initial pool of $2.5 million that will provide loans ranging from $1,000 to $1 million at below-market interest rates.

Northeastern’s president said the program will help those who are “one opportunity away from turning ideas and hard work into prosperity.”

The school plans to provide loans to 85 small businesses in the first two years to help them expand. It ultimately aims to help businesses compete for contracts with the university.

The nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corp. will administer the loans. Applications are being accepted immediately.

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