Citi Commits $24 Billion to Small Businesses

Citi has announced that it will commit $24 billion to small-business lending over the next three years. The bank plans to lend $7 billion in 2011, $8 billion in 2012 and $9 billion in 2013.

The announcement comes paired with recent efforts by the SBA to further small-business lending in order to spur job growth and economic recovery. The funds will be made available to small-business owners through traditional credit lines and loans. Those seeking loans can also access these funds through an SBA loan, where Citi is a preferred lender.

"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," Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said in a statement. “During such challenging economic times, we appreciate how important it is for government and businesses to work together to catalyze economic growth."

Citi has gradually increased its small-business lending, from $4.5 billion in 2009 to $6 billion in 2010. This year, Citi lending has already increased 30 percent from the same period in 2010.