UPDATE: Ark. House panel OKs small business financing bill

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - An Arkansas House committee has advanced a proposal to establish a new economic development program in the state aimed at driving private investment to small businesses.

The House Economic Development Committee unanimously gave its approval to the bill that would allow the state to allocate tax credits to groups of investors who agree to provide financing to qualified small businesses. The investors would sell the tax credits to insurance companies and raise private capital in order to make loans to or invest in small businesses in low-income communities in Arkansas.

Democratic Rep. Darrin Williams sponsored the bill and told lawmakers that the new program will create and retain jobs in the state.

The Department of Finance and Administration says it's unknown how the tax credits would impact state revenue.

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