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ICBA Urges Economic Reforms to Address “Credit Crunch”

Community Banks Ready to Lend to Small Business

Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) told Congress that community banks are well positioned to help small businesses access capital in the current credit crunch.

"Community banks are common sense lenders who largely avoided the subprime debacle. We have solid capital positions and have money to lend to small business," said David G. Schroeder, an ICBA leadership banker and president, American Enterprise Bank, Buffalo Grove, Ill. "Conversely, many of the nation's largest lenders and money-center banks tripped up with aggressive subprime lending and toxic investments, resulting in them pulling in their lending and having to rebuild capital positions. Community banks serve their local small businesses in good times and in bad."

Testifying before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Finance and Tax chaired by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), Schroeder urged greater Congressional focus on the financing needs of small businesses. "At a time when the economy is faltering, there are many sensible financial regulatory and tax reform measures that can greatly assist small businesses in this difficult economic climate," he said. "Congress can and must act now to ensure small businesses, lenders and borrowers have an uninterrupted supply of capital."

ICBA advanced several legislative policy recommendations that would help small business better access credit, grow, create jobs and boost our economy. Among these are:

  • Strengthen the Small Business Administration loan programs by boosting the SBA budget, lowering the steep fees on lenders and borrowers, and reducing excessive regulations.

  • Enact the "Small Business Lending Reauthorization and Improvements Act," (H.R. 1332/S.1256), which is critical to the ongoing viability of SBA loan programs.

  • Enact ICBA's economic stimulus plan recommendations, including a first-time homebuyer tax credit, immediate alternative minimum tax relief, and municipal bond reforms to help state and local finances.

  • Enact reform provisions in the "Communities First Act," (H.R.1869/S.1405) which provide sensible tax and small business regulatory relief for community lenders and their small business customers.

Read ICBA's complete testimony at www.icba.org.