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Banks pledge $20 billion hike in lending to small business

Regions Bank, Wells Fargo and 11 other large banks have committed to increase lending for small businesses by a combined $20 billion over the next three years.

The banks made the announcement at a press conference joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills

John Asbury, head of Business Services for Regions, said Birmingham-based Regions would increase its small business lending by $200 over the next three years.

Speaking at Wrap Tite, Inc. — a small business in Solon, Ohio — Biden and Mills said the increased lending commitments represent an increase of 10 percent or more beyond the current levels of lending at many of the participating banks

The pledges mean more small businesses like Wrap Tite will have access to the capital they need to help grow the nation’s economy at the local level, Biden said in a press statement.

“Thanks to a recent $1.5 million SBA-supported loan, Wrap Tite — a manufacturer and distributor of stretch wrap and other packing and shipping products — was able to purchase and renovate a new facility in Solon and hire five new workers.”

Mills noted that many small businesses, particularly in traditionally underserved communities, still face challenges in accessing the capital they need to buy inventory, take on that next new order and hire new workers.

“These commitments by our lending partners leverage both commercial and government programs that work and will provide billions of capital to help small businesses all across the country grow and create jobs, and drive local economic growth.”

Besides Wells Fargo and Regions, participating banks are: Key Corp; Huntington Bancshares Inc.; M&T Bank Corp.; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Citizens Financial Group, Inc.; Citigroup; Bank of America; Merrill Lynch; TD Bank; US Bank; PNC Bank NA. and Sun Trust Banks Inc.

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