As bigger lenders tighten credit, small and midsize businesses are warming conceptually to striking relationships with community banks — and the banks appear receptive.

"We now have the opportunity to go in and potentially write business with a company that has been with a National City-type for 20-plus years," said Clay Stinnett, chief strategic officer of the $1.65 billion-asset S.Y. Bancorp Inc. in Louisville. "A lot of them want a more stable relationship; pricing has changed, terms have changed, but to them, their business hasn't fundamentally changed, and it scares them."

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