BOCA RATON, Fla. — A growing number of banks are looking past the short-term economic challenges and betting on a small-business recovery.

Overall small-business lending levels are shrinking, as banks keep credit standards tight and worries about the economy and tax hikes keep many business owners from making big investments or financially overextending themselves. But some banks are still expanding their small-business banking, seeing several incentives to competing for these customers.

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