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Senate Advances ICBA-Backed Small Business Lending Fund

Fund Could Open Up $300 Billion in New Credit to Local Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2010)-The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today thanked the Senate for voting to advance the ICBA-advocated Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), which would establish a $30 billion fund to stimulate small-business lending through our nation's nearly 8,000 community banks and keep credit flowing to Main Street.  The Fund was tied in with the ICBA-backed Small Business Jobs Act (H.R. 5297) that includes SBA lending incentives and small business tax cuts. 

"ICBA praised the Senate for advancing this pivotal legislation that will help aid Main Street America's economic recovery and stimulate the struggling small business sector, which is critical to job growth in local communities across the country," said Jim MacPhee, ICBA chairman and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich.  "In particular, ICBA lauds the unwavering and staunch support of Small Business Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) for sponsoring this critical amendment, and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) who voted for the Fund, which could translate into as much as $300 billion in new credit to local small businesses."

ICBA has been the leading advocate for the SBLF, which already passed in the House last month.  The Fund would give interested community banks with $10 billion in assets or less access to capital during this crucial time to increase their lending to small businesses. In addition to testifying several times before Congress about the importance of the SBLF, ICBA and 29 of its state community banking associations sent a letter to Senate leaders earlier this week voicing fervid support for including the SBLF in the proposed Small Business Jobs Act (H.R. 5297).  ICBA also adamantly opposed counterproductive additions, such as Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) amendment to increase the lending capacity of tax-subsidized credit unions. 

ICBA fully supports the Senate's Small Business Jobs Act, which in addition to the SBLF includes important Small Business Administration (SBA) incentives and key tax cuts that would be beneficial to America's Main Street communities.  ICBA urges the Senate to swiftly pass the bill. 

To learn more about ICBA's support of the SBLF, visit www.icba.org