It isn’t quite the golden days of pre-recession financing. But small business lending has reached a post-recession high. That’s the unvarnished optimistic conclusion of the June 2014 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.
The index is a monthly analysis of 1000 loan applications on Biz2Credit.com. The company says it connects 1.6 million small business owners with more than 1,300 lenders, credit rating agencies and service providers like CPAs and attorneys.
In a prepared statement, co-founder and CEO Rohit Arora contrasted today’s lending situation with that of just a few years ago, adding:
“In the Great Recession and its ensuing ‘Credit Crunch,’ lenders tightened the spigot on small business, and the flow of capital to entrepreneurs evaporated. Many times, small business owners chose not to bother applying for loans under the assumption that they would be turned away.”
Who could blame them when most requests were being rejected?”
But today all that has changed.
The data shows larger banks now granting one in five small business loan applications, the most in half a decade. While small business lending at smaller banks slipped by .2 percent from May 2014, their approval rate still remains at more than half.
Finally, the index says, approval at credit unions increased by another .1 percent, showing a consistent growth.
How did all this happen?
In the depths of the credit crunch between 2008 and 2010, businesses required to show banks three years of financial records to qualify for a loan were often rejected because of the poor performance those records showed.
Lack of traditional bank lending led to the rise of so-called “alternative lenders” including cash advance companies willing to loan even to businesses with poor credit histories.
But the interest rates on these loans were incredibly steep, often between 30 and 50 percent.
By 2012, financial records were better with businesses squeezing out more profit while continuing to run lean. And soon lending began to recover as a result.
“Today, business owners are more confident than they were during the recession. They are also more willing to risk borrowing money to fund expansion and are using the financing for big ticket items, including building and equipment purchases. These types of purchases generally occur when there is confidence in the future.”
He also credits the U.S. Small Business Administration for its continued efforts guaranteeing 75 percent of all SBA backed loans and waiving all fees thus making these loans all the more attractive in a tough economy.
Biz2Credit also continues its efforts to bring lenders and businesses together, having secured more than $1.2 billion for thousands of small businesses since 2007, according its website.