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ICBA Applauds Passage of Critical Small Business Legislation, H.R. 3854

Washington, D.C. (October 21, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today lauded the House Small Business Committee’s passage of H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009. The ICBA-backed legislation will provide for larger 7(a) and 504 loan limits and extend the reduced fees and higher guarantees that were passed under the recent stimulus legislation.

“America’s small businesses are critical to supporting our economic recovery,” said R. Michael Menzies, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Eason Bank and Trust, Co., Easton, Md. “Our nation’s more than 8,000 community banks specialize in small business relationship lending. The legislation passed today is a welcomed step that will help our community banks provide long-term capital to the small business customers they proudly serve in cities and towns throughout America.”

Community banks are key to small business lending. According to the FDIC’s latest quarterly data profile, small banks with $1 billion in asset size or less were the only segment to show an increase in their net loans and leases. “As community banks and small businesses work together to weather the economic storm, it is important to advance legislation that promotes a robust Small Business Administration and advance policies that keep small businesses strong and vibrant,” Menzies said. “Community banks are always working to ensure small businesses meet their financial objectives, and the ICBA-backed H.R. 3854 will enhance their ability to do so.”

ICBA thanks House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and the committee for their support of H.R. 3854 and looks forward to working with the House and Senate to advance this important and timely legislation so that community banks can continue to serve small businesses within their community to the fullest capacity possible.