Community banks participating in the government’s Small Business Lending Fund increased loans through the fourth quarter of 2012 by $1.5 billion over the prior quarter — for a cumulative total of of $8.9 billion since the low point of the Great Recession in 2009.
U.S. Treasury Officials say the increased lending represents an estimated 38,000 additional small business loans over baseline levels. The baseline period is defined as the average lending over the four quarters ended June 30, 2010.
SBLF community banks have increased business lending by 38 percent, a significantly greater amount than a peer group of similar banks across median measures of size, geography, and loan type, Treasury said.
The fund was established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law in 2010. The SBLF helps small businesses by providing capital to banks that hold under $10 billion in assets.
The dividend rate a community bank pays on SBLF funding is reduced as that bank increases its lending to small businesses – a strategy the administration says has spurred small-business hiring.
Treasury invested more than $4 billion in 332 institutions through the SBLF. Collectively, these institutions operate in more than 3,000 locations across 48 states.
As of March 15, 2013, 320 institutions continue to participate in the program including 270 community banks and 50 community development loan funds.
“This quarter’s report shows that SBLF participants are continuing to help thousands of small businesses invest, hire, and expand in their local communities,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin.
SBLF participants have increased their small business lending by $8.9 billion over a $36.9 billion baseline. Over three-quarters of SBLF participants (83 percent) have increased their small business lending by 10 percent or more.
For more information on SBLF, visit www.treasury.gov/sblf.