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Press Release

Cleveland Fed researchers gauge impact of Small Business Lending Fund

The Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), created in 2010, provides capital to qualified community banks with the intention that banks will use this capital to make loans to small businesses. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland say the data show that banks have used SBLF funds to increase their small business lending.

Kristle Cortes and Sara Millington compare banks’ baseline lending – the average level of each bank’s lending prior to receiving SBLF funds -- to their lending in subsequent quarters up through 2014:Q1. They find that, in the aggregate, small business lending has increased in every quarter since the banks received SBLF funds. They also note that as of 2014:Q1, mean small business lending was 142 percent higher than mean baseline lending for the banks in their sample.

Breaking the data down by region, the researchers show that all regions experienced increases in lending, ranging from a 32 percent increase over mean baseline lending in the Midwest to a 50 percent increase in the Southwest. Commercial and industrial loans and owner-occupied commercial real estate loans comprise the majority of the small business lending.

Read Gauging the Impact of the Small Business Lending Fund

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Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892