Adams Bank & Trust, which has two branches in Colorado Springs, has received $21 million through the federal Small Business Lending Program to loan to small businesses.

In 2010, Congress set aside $30 billion for the Small Business Lending Fund — which is meant to get capital into banks that have less than $10 billion in assets. Those banks, then, turn around and lend the money to small businesses.

The program is only open to healthy banks with less than $10 billion of assets, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury. Through the Small Business Lending Fund, Main Street banks and small businesses work together to help create jobs and promote economic growth.

Adams Bank & Trust is a 95-year-old family bank with 15 branches in Nebraska and Colorado. The bank has $519 million in assets and has a goal to increases its loans by $50 million over the next two years.

“We are pleased to be the first bank in Nebraska and the second bank in Colorado Springs selected to participate,” said Chad Adams, president and CEO of Adams Bank & Trust. “Our selection is a reflection of our continued strength.”

At the time the SBLF fund was created, the Treasury Department said small business owners faced a credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital. To date about one third of the money in the Small Business Lending Fund has been requested.

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“Small businesses play a vital role in the economy our region, and we will use these funds to continue to help small businesses grow and create more jobs,” Adams said.