A pair of banking companies said Friday that they have been approved for participating the in the Small Business Lending Fund and plan to use the funds to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

AmeriServ Financial Inc. in Johnstown, Pa., said it received $21 million from the SBLF, which it used to repurchase a similar amount of outstanding preferred shares associated the the Tarp. The $955 million-asset company also said it plans to proceed with the repurchase of warrant associated with the Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program.

Separately, Community Partners Bancorp in Middletown, N.J., said it would repurchase about $9 million in preferred stock tied to the Tarp after receiving $12 million from the SBLF. The $677 million-asset company noted in a press release that the remaining $3 million will bolster its Tier 1 capital.

"The capital we receive under the program will allow us to continue to serve small business clients in our markets through our commercial lending and owner occupied real estate lending programs," said William D. Moss, Community Partners' president and CEO, in a release.

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