County Executive Ike Leggett today announced a tripling to over $35 million of the County investment in the “Small Business Plus!” program, first established in June 2012 with an initial $10 million investment. Through a unique collaboration between Montgomery County and community banks headquartered in the County, “Small Business Plus!” was developed to promote job growth through small business lending and earn a competitive rate of return for the County on its investment. Thirty million dollars in County funds will be invested in participating community banks -- which will commit an equal amount -- with the result that $70 million will be lent to local small businesses to further promote the creation of new jobs.
“The success of our ‘Small Business Plus!’ program means it makes perfect sense to increase the County’s investment,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. This partnership with community banks boosts new lending to local businesses to create new jobs that lower the County’s unemployment rate and improve the County’s economy.”
Leggett noted that Montgomery County had the lowest unemployment rate in the State for the second straight month – and one of the lowest in the nation.
“This is an opportunity for Montgomery County to do ‘well’ -- and do ‘good’ at the same time,” added Leggett.
“This program provides direct investment for Montgomery County’s small businesses with little risk to County taxpayers. This is a wonderful partnership between County government and our local banks,” said Council President Nancy Navarro.
Banks are eligible to participate if they meet the following criteria: they must be headquartered in Montgomery County; must have assets greater than $200 million and less than $5 billion; and meet certain safety and soundness standards established by the County.
Under the program, a participating bank must originate the loans within 12 calendar months of the commitment by the County to make a program related deposit in that bank. All of the funds deposited will be covered by FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insurance.
Among the banks who partner with the County are Capital Bank, Congressional Bank, EagleBank, and OBA Bank.
“This program is the right thing to do,” stated Scot Browning, President of Capital Bank. “County money, derived from our local tax base, should remain in our community to support our community. By depositing taxpayer dollars in local banks to be lent back into the community is a win-win.”
“We are proud to participate in the Small Business Plus! Program,” stated Ronald D. Paul, Chairman & CEO of EagleBank. “It is a unique opportunity to partner with the Montgomery County government to enhance lending programs for small businesses located in the County. We have committed to lend into the community twice the amount of funds that we receive from the Small Business Plus! Program,” Mr. Paul added. “This support allows these local businesses to grow, create new employment opportunities and thereby improve the County economy.”
“The county and the community banks have developed a deposit program that will benefit both taxpayers and the local economy,” said Jeffrey A. Lipson, President & Chief Operating Officer of Congressional Bank. “Congressional Bank is pleased to participate in this initiative, and looks forward to additional partnership opportunities that support Montgomery County small businesses.”
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