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US Bank & Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Introduce Small Business Loan Program - Capital!

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 18, 2005--U.S. Bank, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) have partnered to offer Capital! (Spanish pronunciation) a national loan program aimed at lending to small businesses in high-growth Hispanic markets nationwide. U.S. Bank will provide referral payments to the chamber for every loan booked through the program that was developed through a partnership between U.S. Bank and the USHCC. Information about the program will be presented at an upcoming AZHCC networking event in the fall of 2005.

Capital! provides a substantial new revenue and membership stream for the chamber as well as a source of new customers for U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank pays a referral fee to the chamber as a percentage of each loan, line of credit, or lease that is booked in the program. This new revenue stream will help businesses and the chamber meet mission-critical goals and objectives.

The USHCC, based in Washington, D.C., represents the interests of more than 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico, which earn more than $200 billion annually. It serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers nationwide and it actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs. Capital! establishes USHCC local chambers as sources of technical assistance and support for all small businesses that need capital to grow and prosper. U.S. Bank will work directly with the USHCC and its local affiliates to meet the program's goals and objectives and to ensure the program is a success.

"We have heard the call of our affiliate chambers and are excited about Capital! which is designed to meet the substantial access-to-capital needs of Hispanic businesses nationwide," said Michael L. Barrera, president and chief executive officer of the USHCC. "We continue to find unique ways to partner with corporate America to create opportunities for growth and success for our entire constituency."

"The Hispanic business customer is extremely important to U.S. Bank. Through the Capital! Program, we are confident that more Hispanic businesses will prosper, which is good for the whole community," said Roderika "Rodie" N. Hernandez, small business sales manager for U.S. Bank in Phoenix.

The AZHCC, through the Arizona Minority Business Development Center, will provide technical assistance to businesses so that they are well prepared to qualify for access to capital. They will work in conjunction with a U.S. Bank small business banking officer designated as a loan executive to the program. Loans originated under this program will be underwritten with the same guidelines and with the same applicable fees, interest rates and other charges as loans originating from outside the program.

"The Capital! Program demonstrates U.S. Bank's strong commitment to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce small Hispanic business members' growth," said Harry Garewal, president and chief executive officer of the AZHCC.

U.S. Bank has been a partner of Hispanic businesses and families for several years, offering products and services with their needs in mind.

Today, more than 80 percent of new jobs in the United States emerge from within the small business sector. The ability for these small businesses to gain access to capital creates a catalyst for job growth. This program recognizes the vital role of the Hispanic enterprise in the growth and development of the American economy and the importance of capital access for underserved small businesses.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $198 billion in assets, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,377 banking offices and 4,654 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.

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