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ICBA Applauds SBA for Promoting Streamlined Loan Process in Rural Areas

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration for launching Rural Lender Advantage - a new program designed to help more community banks offer small business SBA loans in rural areas.

"The Rural Lender Advantage program is an attractive product for community banks serving our heartland and will foster more SBA small business loans to help our local communities," said Terry Jorde, ICBA immediate past chairman and president and CEO of CountryBank USA, Cando, N.D. "SBA Administrator Steven Preston is to be commended for his commitment to promoting strong community-based SBA lending, rural economic development, and for moving this plan forward."

The key features of Rural Lender Advantage include:

  • A shorter, simplified application for loans of $350,000 or less.
  • Application may be completed and submitted online.
  • An estimated, expedited loan processing time of only three-to-five days for routine loans.
  • Limited key financial documentation.
  • SBA's guaranty of 85 percent if the loan is $150,000 or less; 75 percent if the loan is more.
  • A new, user friendly 7(a) loan portal designed to meet the needs of small/rural lenders for SBA loans of $350,000 or less.
  • Specialized assistance for rural lenders on complex eligibility issues.

Rural Lender Advantage will be tested in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

ICBA looks forward to working with SBA to advance the Rural Lender Advantage program.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation’s voice for community banks, represents 5,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types throughout the United States and is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and the communities and customers we serve. For more information, visit www.icba.org.