Small businesses in rural Tennessee could get some needed cash to boost their business and save jobs from $2 million in stimulus money that’s coming to Southeast Community Capital Corp. in Nashville.

Southeast will be funding 30 or 40 companies in any Tennessee county outside of Davidson, Shelby or Knox counties. The group is a community development financial institution, which lends money to companies traditionally underserved by banks and similar lenders.

Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said these institutions can play a critical role in revitalizing neighborhoods and praised them for offering loans to communities that large banks might consider too risky or too small to be profitable. Nationally, 59 such institutions in 26 states were awarded a total of $90 million to fund businesses that are ignored by mainstream lenders.

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