Today, Citi announced our commitment to lend American businesses $24 billion over the next three years. We're proud to do our part in answering the U.S. Small Business Administration's call to provide access to lending and capital that will help create jobs and speed economic recovery.
In conjunction with the announcement today in Cleveland, Citi's head of U.S. Head of Small Business Raj Seshadri joined Vice President Joe Biden and SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a show of support for America's small businesses and their finance needs.
In the announcement, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said: "We recognize the vital role small businesses play in our economy, and are excited about making this commitment to increase our lending to entrepreneurs across the country. During such challenging economic times, we appreciate how important it is for government and businesses to work together to catalyze economic growth. Whether it's creating new jobs, supporting local investments, or providing financial expertise, Citi is committed to helping our clients capture the American dream."
Citi has significantly increased its small business lending in recent years, from $4.5 billion in 2009 to $6 billion in 2010. For the first half of 2011, lending has increased 1.3 times over the same time period in 2010.
Citi also remains dedicated to providing access to capital for those organizations supporting qualified, mission-based Community Development Financial Institutions, Community Development Corporations, micro-lenders and other non-profits that then on-lend to small business owners, via Citibank Community Capital and the Communities at Work program.