July 20, 2011

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

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the Bethesda, MD-based Eagle Bancorp has received $56.6 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).  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 for Eagle Bancorp 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 help weave social fabric – by hiring local workers, providing services a community needs and lending a helping hand to neighbors. 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. 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.  Bancorp’s growth of $98 million in SBLF qualified loans has made the bank eligible for a dividend rate of 1.0 percent, the most favorable dividend rate available in the SBLF program.

In addition to Bancorp, 16 other community banks across the country received a total of $214 million as part of the next wave of funding provided through the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).  Since the program’s inception, 23 community banks have received a total of $337 million in SBLF funding.

Bancorp is the holding company for EagleBank, which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and conducts full service commercial banking through thirteen offices, located in Montgomery County, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Fairfax County, Virginia.

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