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Community Banks Highlight Commitment to Local Small Business Customers during National Small Business Week

Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2010)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and our nation’s nearly 8,000 community banks are proud to celebrate their commitment to America’s small businesses during National Small Business Week, which runs through Friday. Even during these challenging economic times, community banks continue to serve the needs of their local small business customers, who are the economic engines that help Main Street communities grow and prosper.

“Now more than ever, small businesses need even greater access to credit, and community banks nationwide are stepping up to the challenge,” said Jim MacPhee, ICBA chairman and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich. “Small businesses are the heart of our local economies and create the majority of new jobs, something that is critical to our economic recovery. Small business lending has always been a cornerstone of community banking. In fact, community banks provide more than half of small business loans of $100,000 and under and nearly one-third of small business loans under $1 million.”

In order to help foster even more small business lending, ICBA strongly supports several top priority measures, including the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297). This act, which was passed by the Houses Financial Services Committee last week, will help spur small business lending by using Main Street community banks as conduits. In fact, the $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund could translate into as much as $300 billion in new credit to local customers—and further aid in America’s economic recovery. ICBA will work to ensure that this meaningful legislation is enacted into law to further stimulate the small business sector.

Additionally, ICBA supports the extension of the Small Business Administration loan program incentives included in the Recovery Act. The higher guaranty and reduced fees for SBA loans have allowed community banks to double their SBA small business lending over the past year.

For more information about ICBA, visit www.icba.org. To find a community bank, visit ICBA’s community bank locator by clicking here.