Over 90 percent of the community banks participating in the Treasury Department’s Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) now report stronger levels of small business lending thanks to this innovative program. That’s just one takeaway from the results of the First Annual SBLF Lending Survey, released today during National Small Business Week. The same report also shows that SBLF has boosted small business lending across industries and in every region of the country, and that over 80 percent of participants’ small business loans were made in amounts of $250,000 or less.
By dividing the average loan size reported by community banks by the program-wide $8.9 billion lending increase reported in the April 2013 SBLF Use of Funds Report, Treasury is also now able to estimate that SBLF participants have now increased small business lending by an additional 38,000 loans as of December 31, 2012.
The survey also gives Treasury a first look at SBLF’s impact by industry and region, revealing that the service and agriculture sectors have received the largest estimated percentage of additional loans, while SBLF participants in the South and Midwest reported the largest estimated increases in the number of small business loans, with 20,200 and 8,700 loans, respectively. The Northeast, with 5,500 loans, and the West with 3,600 loans, followed.
Small businesses are a vital part of the American economy and their success is a critical component of the ongoing economic recovery. Established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBLF is a dedicated fund that invested over $4 billion of capital in qualified community banks and community development loan funds (CDLFs) in order to encourage small business lending. The purpose of the SBLF is to encourage Main Street banks and small businesses to work together to create jobs and promote economic growth in communities across the nation.
Marking the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week in his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama expressed how “America's small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a Nation -- daring and innovative, courageous and hopeful, always working hard and looking ahead for that next great idea.” The results of the lending survey are another marker of the important work Treasury has done to broaden small businesses’ access to capital so they can grow and hire.
Jason Tepperman is the Director of the Small Business Lending Fund.