The largest banks are approving small-business loan applications at the fastest rate since the recession, a sign that that they are willing to assume more risk and taking seriously the threat of competition from online lenders.
Green Bancorp has pivoted from the troubled energy-lending market to SBA loans, which are appealing to more small banks because they can be sold at a premium and are getting more support from Washington.
The good news: SBA lending is going gangbusters and business owners are optimistic about growth prospects and their ability to access credit. The not-so-good news: Many firms are still not particularly interested in borrowing and startups are not the engines of job creation they once were.
With National Small Business Week set to kick off April 30, American Banker asked several community bankers to share stories of high-impact loans that made a difference in their communities and in their own enthusiasm for the work they do.
Ann Marie Mehlum, who has joined a lending platform called SmartBiz Loans after stints as a community banker and an SBA official, says the combination of fintech and old-fashioned banking could bring back small-business loans under $100,000.