Arlington’s Leader Bank received this week $12.9 million from the U.S. Treasury Department to distribute as loans to small business owners, as part of an Obama Administration effort to expand small operations and create jobs.
Leader Bank President Sushil Tuli said the funds are already available and can be used to fund loans between $25,000 and $5 million.
Jason Tepperman is the director of the Small Business Lending Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He said banks should be able to offer loans at lower rates because the capital is made available to them from the federal government.
“This provides a powerful incentive for banks to really focus on small businesses and how to extend credit to these enterprises,” said Tepperman in a phone interview from his office in Washington, D.C.
Small businesses are defined as those that generate less than $50 million in revenue and are hoping to borrow less than $10 million, he added.
The U.S. Treasury Department has disbursed funds for small business lending to 130 community banks across the nation, a price tag of $1.8 billion in funding.
“We anticipate making additional funding announcements on a rolling basis,” he added.
For now, Tuli is waiting for proposals from business owners—or those hoping to start a new business. Because he started Leader Bank from scratch, Tuli added, he “knows what it takes to start a small business.”
Leader Bank has a total of five branches—two in Arlington and one each in Belmont, Cambridge and Burlington.