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ICBA Works with White House to Launch Small Business Lending Initiatives

New Programs Will Help Unfreeze Secondary Markets; Nation's Community Banks Key to Effort

Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today met with President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House in a joint effort to advance new small business lending initiatives to boost economic growth. Cynthia Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Grapevine, Texas, David Schroeder, president and CEO of American Enterprise Bank, Buffalo Grove, IL, and Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of ICBA, represented our nation's more than 8,000 community banks by participating in the Obama Administration's launch of the new Small Business Administration (SBA) lending initiatives that are aimed at small business borrowers and lenders in an unprecedented effort to help unfreeze frozen secondary markets.

"We are proud to see positive changes to the SBA loan program. Community banks will use these initiatives to help get more capital and credit flowing to small businesses in an affordable way to finance future growth," said Blankenship. "ICBA and our nation's community banks commend the Administration, Treasury and Congressional Small Business Committees for supporting  improvements to the SBA loan programs and secondary market allowing community banks nationwide to help boost credit markets and small business lending." 

ICBA has worked closely with the Administration, Federal Reserve, and Congress on these community-bank friendly initiatives to ensure ongoing and robust funding for SBA loan programs. The programs announced today will reduce SBA loan fees and boost loan guarantee levels with support from the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) program and Economic Recovery Act.

"With these new initiatives to help unfreeze the small business secondary markets, American Enterprise Bank will be better able to finance more small businesses, which are the engine of our economy," said Schroeder. "The SBA is an important source of long-term financing for small business. The proven private/public partnership between community banks and the Small Business Administration will help navigate our economy out of this current economic downturn." 

ICBA looks forward to continuing its productive dialogue and efforts with the White House, Treasury and Congress so that community banks can continue to serve their customers on Main Street in cities and towns across America and help aid in our nation's economic recovery.

For more information, visit www.icba.org.