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Community banks boost small business lending for seventh consecutive quarter

140px-US-DeptOfTheTreasury-Seal.svgThe U.S. Treasury released a new report on Wednesday that revealed participants receiving capital through the Small Business Lending Fund increased lending for the seventh consecutive quarter, boosting total lending by about $8.9 billion since 2009.

“In every region of the country, the Obama Administration’s SBLF is supporting small and family-owned businesses with the funds they need to create jobs and grow,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said. “This quarter’s report shows that SBLF participants are continuing to help thousands of small businesses invest, hire and expand in their local communities.”

SBLF participants boosted lending by $1.5 billion more than in the previous quarter, marking the second largest increase since the program was launched. Community banks participating in the fund have ramped up business lending by 38 percent compared to a peer group of banks similar in size, geography and loan type.

The SBLF was established under the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, and the program encourages community banks to boost their small business lending in order to help firms expand in their communities and create jobs. The U.S. Treasury invested more than $4 billion in 332 institutions via the fund.

The fund provides capital to community banks and community development loan funds with less than $10 billion in assets, and the interest rate paid on funding by community banks is reduced as the institutions ups its lending to small businesses. Participating institutions, which include 270 community banks and 50 community development loan funds, operate in 3,000 locations across 48 states.

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