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    Wells Fargo to Aid Small Businesses

    Banking firm offers California retailers a break on financing energy-efficient equipment.

    Wells Fargo Bank is supporting small business owners at a crucial time by helping them invest in new, energy-efficient equipment that can result in substantial, long-term savings.

    The company will offer discounted loans to California business owners that buy new conservation-based equipment. Businesses that take advantage of a Wells Fargo Equipment Express loan will receive a waiver of the initial $150 documentation fee and a cash back offer up to 1 percent of the amount financed.

    "The soaring cost of energy is a tough bottom line challenge for California small business owners," said Julianne Broyles, director of small business for the California Chamber of Commerce.

    Utility companies have suggested a number of improvements that business owners can make to reduce energy costs, which can also qualify for the Wells Fargo program including:
    * Install new fluorescent lighting fixtures;
    * Install occupancy sensors in areas not always occupied;
    * Replace older air conditioning system;
    * Replace open refrigeration units with reach-in cases with doors;
    * Install gas storage water heaters or gas space heating boilers.

    "Wells Fargo's Equipment Express loan provides simple, convenient financing to allow small businesses to upgrade and replace vital equipment quickly and efficiently," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of small business marketing. "Small businesses may need to act now to reduce energy bills, and we're here to help."

    The Wells Fargo loan helps business owners finance the purchase of qualifying equipment as well as delivery and installation costs. The loan applies to equipment financing from $5,000 to $100,000. Invoices can be aggregated to reach the $5,000 minimum, but each invoice must be a minimum of $1,000.

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