September 28, 2011

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE FUNDING TO ENCOURAGE SMALL BUSINESS LENDING IN MARYLAND

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that three banks in Maryland have received a combined $40.4 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).  The Tri-County Financial Corporation of Waldorf received $20 million, Howard Bancorp of Ellicott City received $12.6 million, and the Enterprise Community Loan Fund of Columbia received $8.8 million.

 The SBLF, which was established under the Small Business Jobs Act that Congress passed in 2010, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses, helping those businesses expand their operations and create new jobs.        

“Small businesses are the heart of our economic engine here in Maryland and throughout America, but they must have access to credit in order to succeed and create jobs,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.  “This funding will help Maryland’s small businesses gain access to much-needed capital that will help them expand and create jobs for Marylanders.” 

"This funding helps businesses get access to the credit they need to create jobs and strengthen our economy," Senator Mikulski said. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and the cornerstone of our communities. They want to expand. They want to hire and they want to upgrade their equipment.  They want access to credit and they need a government on their side and at their side to do that. I'm so glad these funds are going to a community bank to get credit to people with a dream in their heart and the grit and determination to create jobs and grow the economy."

Small businesses account for 97.6 percent of Maryland’s employers and 52.4 percent of its private-sector employment.  But small-business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital. The SBLF helps small businesses meet this challenge by providing capital to community 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. 

In addition to the Maryland banks, 138 other community banks across the country received a total of $1.6 billion as part of the final wave of funding provided through the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).  Since the program’s inception, 332 community banks have received a total of $4 billion in SBLF funding.  The Bethesda-based Eagle Bancorp received $56.6 million under the SBLF program in July, and Monument Bank, also in Bethesda, received $11.4 million in August.  

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