"We're proud to carry the banner for what is as much of an anti-bullying message as anything else," Cloutier added. "People need to know they don't have to feel overwhelmed and taken advantage of. There is an alternative out there that is so much better, an alternative that actually helps their communities grow."As an example, the MidSouth Bank executive points to the U.S. Treasury's August selection of MidSouth Bank for participation in the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), which is allowing the bank to extend more commercial loans at low and competitive rates to small businesses across its two-state trade area. Cloutier says MidSouth Bank's goal is to put $180 million in new loans on its books over the next 24 months. Despite challenging economic times, community banks continue to fund nearly 60 percent of all small businesses under $1 million. Cloutier said they also use local dollars to help families purchase homes, buy a car, finance college and build financial security. Of the more than 7,000 community banks across the country, nearly 5,000 are ICBA members. Representing more than 23,000 locations nationwide and employing more than 280,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1 trillion in assets, $900 billion in deposits, and $700 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community. About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with assets of $1.2 billion as of September 30, 2011. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., MidSouth offers a full range of banking services to commercial and retail customers in Louisiana and Texas. MidSouth Bank has 39 locations in Louisiana and Texas and is connected to a worldwide ATM network that provides customers with access to more than 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs. More corporate information is available at www.midsouthbank.com. SOURCE MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.