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Eastern Bank is top SBA lender in Mass.

Eastern Bank said it ranks as the top Small Business Administration lender in Massachusetts for the fourth straight year.

Boston-based Eastern Bank made 400 SBA loans in Massachusetts totaling more than $23 million, according to figures from the SBA’s Boston District Office. By SBA calculations, those loans collectively created nearly 500 jobs and retained about 1,700 others.

“Eastern Bank understands that successful small businesses are vital to our local and national economy,” Richard E. Holbrook, Eastern Bank chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

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Eastern Bank has about $8 billion in assets and more than 90 branches serving communities from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod.

Chris Reidy

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.