Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - A snapshot of the financial life of the U.S. shows that community banks support small businesses in a big way.

For starters, community banks are prolific small-business lenders—providing a substantial number of small-business loans across the country, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

In fact, community banks with under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small-business loans between $100,000 and $1 million. By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks are an integral part of theU.S.financial system.

Financial First Responders

Community banks are able to serve as financial first responders to small businesses because they operate locally, which puts local deposits back to work in the community through loans to local residents and small businesses.

“Small-business lending has always been the bread and butter of community banking,” said Bill Loving, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and president and CEO of Pendleton Community Bank in Franklin, W. Va. “Community banks are small businesses themselves, and they also operate in the same communities as their customers. As small businesses themselves, community banks understand the needs of small businesses and the unique challenges they face better than anyone else in the marketplace.”

A Friend To Farmers As Well

Community banks have consistently been the largest provider of agricultural credit within the commercial banking sector and are often the catalysts for new and expanded business opportunities within their communities to ensure long-term economic viability and vitality.

In fact, community banks with assets under $10 billion provide more than 75 percent of all commercial bank agricultural loans, and banks with assets less than $1 billion provide nearly 60 percent of all commercial bank agricultural financing.

To find a community bank, visit ICBA’s Community Bank Locator at www.banklocally.org. Simply type in your ZIP code and the app will show you all the community banks in your area.

You can even download a free community bank locator app for your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry.

Community Banking

To follow the community bank conversation, follow @ICBA and the hashtag #golocal on Twitter.

To learn more about community banks, visit www.icba.org.