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Celebrate National Small Business Week

Beecher, IL, May 22 2012 — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and First Community Bank and Trust are joining the Small Business Administration (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 and chairman, Bank of Newman Grove, Neb., 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 lenders—providing asubstantial number of small business loans across the country, including SBA loans.

"By lending to local entrepreneurs and small businesses, community banks help local economies thrive—driving economic growth and prosperity," said Greg Ohlendorf, President and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust. "We are honored to serve our communities' small businesses and are proud to recognize the important role they serve during Small Business Week."

Representing more than 24,000 locations nationwide and employing nearly 300,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1.2 trillion in assets, $1 trillion in deposits and nearly $750 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.

Gerhart went on to say that small business owners and consumers can find their local community bank by visiting 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 free ICBA locator apps for your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry," he said.

To follow the conversation on Small Business Week, follow the hashtags #SBW2012 and #golocal on Twitter. To learn more about community banks, visit www.icba.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation's voice for community banks, represents nearly 7,000 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.

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246