The Small Business Lending Fund has helped issue $3.5 billion in loans to businesses by providing capital to qualified community lenders, according to the U.S. Treasury.
A report sent to Congress this month by Treasury officials on the somewhat controversial fund (SBLF) provided that amount. The SBLF was part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Previously media reports had pegged the actual amount that was loaned out to small businesses at about half of the $4 billion that was allocated to 332 community banks and community development loan funds (CDLFs).
The biggest criticism of the SBLF: many institutions used big chunks of their allocations for paying off U.S. bailout debt under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Now, Treasury officials want to make sure that Congress and the public know that the fund’s mission is panning out – at least according to their measurements.
“The report shows that institutions participating in the Small Business Lending Fund have significantly increased lending to small businesses, to the tune of $3.5 billion over their baseline,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The “baseline” is defined as the “average lending reported in the four quarters before the Small Business Jobs Act, which created the SBLF, was enacted. “
Here are some of the facts presented in the Treasury’s report:
- 218 of the 281 participating community banks, or 78 percent, and 41 of the 51 participating community development loan funds (CDLFs), or 80 percent, have increased their small business lending;
- A substantial majority of SBLF participants — more than 60 percent— have now increased their small business lending by 10 percent or more.
- Community bank participants increased their small business lending by $3.4 billion and CDLFs increased their small business lending by $86.8 million.
The Treasury also said that lending through the program is widely distributed across the nations, with banks and CDLFs in 44 states (including Washington, D.C.) reported increased lending.
“These increases have a huge impact in their communities where small businesses have more access to lending,” the Treasury said.