Bankers are fond of the Small Business Lending Fund, but the SBLF is playing hard to get.

The Treasury Department has approved 80 banks for SBLF funds, but hundreds of others are waiting or have given up because of holdups tied to their age, size or dividend restrictions. Those not approved by the Sept. 27 deadline could face higher dividend costs and few capital options, as they seek other ways to fund their exits from the constricting Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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