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As part of its commitment to small business, Bank of America today announced that it has reached its goal of hiring more than 1,000 small business bankers nationally. In addition, Bank of America announced that it has extended nearly $8.7 billion in new credit to small businesses in 2012 – an increase of 28 percent over 2011. The bank’s combined new and renewal small business lending totaled nearly $20 billion.
“With the creation of the small business banker role, Bank of America responded directly to what our clients asked for – locally based small business experts who provide small businesses with the financial solutions necessary to sustain and grow their business,” said Robb Hilson, small business executive for Bank of America. “Making local expertise more accessible and enabling our clients’ growth through new credit are essential to how we help them succeed.”
Three Brothers Bakery in Houston, Texas, has been a client of Bank of America for the past six years and points to how the bank has helped them build their business. “Bank of America has been great in helping us to grow, and we’ve expanded so much that we have opened another store,” said Robert Jucker, owner and manager of Three Brothers Bakery. “They really came through - they treat us like people, not a transaction. As we continue to grow our business, we know that we have a bank that understands us and can help us along the way.”
Small business bankers provide personalized attention to small business owners by spending time with them at their place of business and by learning more about their companies. Small business bankers consult with each of their clients to assess all of their deposit, credit and investment needs.
Small Business Owner Report shows that 69 percent of small business owners are reaching out to financial experts for help,” said Anna Colton, small business banker national sales executive for Bank of America. “Our approach is to get to know the business owner and their needs by investing time in developing a relationship with the small business. As a result, our bankers have met with more than 300,000 small business owners since the beginning of 2011.”
Other ways Bank of America is supporting small businesses:
Bank of America has expanded its online services to small business owners by providing additional chat associates who provide online assistance and by recently re-launching its Small Business Community website, where thousands of small business owners come together to share ideas and resources.
In addition, Bank of America has enhanced its core offerings for small businesses – Business Fundamentals TM and Business Advantage – by allowing them to choose the combination of products/services that best meet their business needs, while offering additional ways for them to receive a monthly fee waiver on their account. Bank of America also offers rewards to small business owners through its Business Platinum Privileges program.
Bank of America is among 13 banks that have pledged to the White House and the SBA to increase new small business lending by a total of $20 billion through 2013. In 2011, the bank increased its new lending activity by $1.083 billion, surpassing its commitment. In 2012, Bank of America increased its new lending activity by an additional $1.9 billion.
Bank of America is a top lender in the SBA 504 program. In the 2012 fiscal year, Bank of America originated more than $584 million in new first- and second-trust deed loans with long-term, fixed-rate financing. The bank also offers SBA 7(a) and Express loans for clients.
Bank of America is also a leading bank supporting Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), providing more than $200 million to finance small businesses that cannot qualify for traditional loans. The CDFI grant program, created in 2010 to unlock low-cost Federal micro-capital for small businesses, has allowed CDFIs to access more than $117 million, serving over 10,000 local businesses and helping to retain more than 16,000 jobs.