NEW YORK (Press Release - October 5, 2011) - The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, an analysis of 1,000 loan applications on Biz2credit.com, found that approval rates of small business financing requests by small banks and non-bank lenders increased to their highest levels of the year during September 2011.\u00a0 Meanwhile, approvals by large banks during September dropped slightly from their August levels. Loan approvals by smaller banks increased to 45.1% in September, their highest rate this year and an increase from 43.8% in August. Month 2011 Small Bank Lending % January 43.50% February 43.90% March 44.20% April 44.60% May 45.00% June 42.50% July 44.90% August 43.80% September 45.10% Additionally, alternative lenders continued to fill the vacuum left by banks and traditional financial institutions.\u00a0 Credit unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), micro lenders, and others approved 61.5% of funding requests in September, a rise from the 58% approval rate in August. Conversely, approval rates at big banks (institutions with $10 billion+ in assets) dipped to 9.20% in September from 9.35% in August.\u00a0 Generally, small business loan approvals by big banks have declined nearly every month since January 2011, and approvals have not been above the 10% rate since April. Month 2011 Big Bank ($10B+ assets) Lending % January 12.80% February 11.90% March 11.60% April 10.40% May 9.80% June 8.90% July 9.80% August 9.35% September 9.20% \u201cThe main reason for the drop in approval rates by bigger banks is the continued financial uncertainty across global capital markets,\u00a0 as well as\u00a0 the overall sluggishness in the U.S. economy,\u201d said Rohit Arora, named \u201cTop Entrepreneur of 2011\u201d by Crain\u2019s New York Business and one of the country\u2019s top experts on small business finance.\u00a0 \u201cAdditionally, lack of full disbursement of the Small Business Lending Fund to community banks is adding ongoing uncertainty among smaller institutions. \u201d \u201cThe stagnant economy and the fact that sentiment is turning negative are huge worries for small business owners.\u00a0 Combined with impeding job losses at big companies, we\u2019re in big trouble, since small businesses account for most of the job creation in the economy,\u201d Arora added.\u00a0 \u201cThere is very little growth in the U.S. economy right now.\u201d The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index also discovered that only 13% of small companies reported revenues growth of 5% or more through the first nine months of 2011.\u00a0 Additionally, 28% of potential small business borrowers said their sales have remained flat. The Index also identified the Top 5 reasons why small business borrowers have not received funding: 1.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 More than 72% of small businesses reported declining sales in first 9 months of 2011. 2.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Profitability has declined at more than 90% of small businesses over the past 2 years. 3.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Bank underwriting criteria is stricter now than in 2010 when stimulus money was flowing. 4.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Uncertainty among big banks is leading to increased dissatisfaction among small business owners. 5.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Avoidance: small business owners believe they are unlikely to get loans and that the process takes too long. Biz2Credit's analysis also found that loan request amounts ranged from $25,000 to $3 million; that the average credit score was above 680, and that average-time-in-business was slightly more than two years. Unlike other surveys, the results are based on primary data submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who applied for funding on Biz2Credit\u2019s online lending platform. About the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index differs from other indices by analyzing required\u00a0information (primary data) submitted by small business owners applying for financing through Biz2Credit\u2019s online platform, which connects borrowers with more than 400 lenders nationwide. About Biz2Credit Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit is a leading credit marketplace connecting small- and medium-sized businesses with lenders, service providers, and complimentary business tools.\u00a0 The company matches borrowers to financial institutions based on business\u2019 unique profile -- completed in less than five\u00a0 minutes -- in a safe, efficient, price-transparent\u00a0 environment.\u00a0 Biz2Credit\u2019s network consists of 1.6 million users, 400+ lenders, credit rating agencies such as D&B and Equifax, and small business service providers including CPAs and lawyers.\u00a0 Having secured more than $400 million in funding throughout the U.S., Biz2Credit is widely recognized as the #1 credit resource for small businesses.