The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and 1ST Bank Morgan are joining the Small Business Association (SBA) in celebrating National Small Business Week, May 20 through May 26. ICBA, which represents the nation’s more than 7,000 community banks, is reminding everyone about the critical role community banks serve in supporting local small businesses. Small businesses are critical to the economic stability of this country, said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman., noting that small businesses have accounted for 65 percent of the private sector job creation over the past 15 years. Not only do community banks support local small businesses through unparalleled lending, they are also local small businesses themselves. This means that community banks understand their local markets better than anyone and also understand the challenges their customers face. Community banks under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small business loans between $100,000 and $1 million. For their size, community banks are prolific small business lendersÓproviding a substantial number of small business loans across the country, including SBA loans. By lending to local entrepreneurs and small businesses, community banks help local economies thriveÓdriving economic growth and prosperity, said Dave Alexander, Branch President, 1st Bank Morgan. We are honored to serve our communities’ small businesses and are proud to recognize the important role they serve during Small Business Week. We encourage community support of our local businesses. 1st Bank has provided financial services to the Morgan community since 1903. The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation’s voice for community banks, represents nearly 5,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types throughout the United States and is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and the communities and customers we serve. For more information, visit www.icba.org.