The Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire and the Coastal Economic Development Corporation have merged, creating one organization designed to provide comprehensive services for the business community throughout Southern New Hampshire, the groups announced Monday.

All existing CEDC operations, staff and loan portfolio will be acquired by REDC, which will serve the more than 160 loans under management, according to a news release.

The decision to merge the two 501©(3) nonprofit regional economic development corporations was evaluated by the board of directors of both entities, which deemed it to be in the best interest of the businesses the region serves.

The merger will streamline lending and technical assistance services and reduce overhead costs, the groups said. CEDC President Daniel Gray was named executive vice president at REDC; Laurel Adams will remain as REDC president.

CEDC served businesses in the following New Hampshire communities, which will now be under REDC’s primary lending territory: Portsmouth, New Castle, Newington, Rye, Greenland, North Hampton, Hampton, South Hampton, Hampton Falls, Seabrook and Kensington.