About half (49 percent) of small business owners in California say a relationship with their bank is a “very important” part of their success. According to the results of a survey of 1,222 small business respondents in California conducted by California Bank & Trust (CB&T), one in two small business owners in the Golden State depend on their bank for resources beyond capital. Small business owners cited “access to capital” and “knowledge and advice” among the top items they depend on from their banking relationship. Meanwhile, 8 in 10 indicated their financial institution does not keep them regularly or adequately informed of federal, state or local programs that can help them grow and succeed.
State’s Economy Worsening in Small Business Owners’ ViewThe California Bank & Trust survey also revealed a cautious sentiment among the state’s small business owners. Some 48 percent of respondents described California’s economic climate to be “worsening,” compared to 22.6 percent seeing things as “improving” and 29.3 percent describing the situation as “remaining stable.” But even against the backdrop of a worsening economy for small business, nearly half of respondents also cited a need for additional capital this year to expand their business. More than 65.2 percent of all business owners seeking capital cited “business expansion” as their primary reason for needing additional cash. Meanwhile, 35.5 percent indicated a plan to “increase staffing” as a reason for needing additional capital. “We know that California’s economy remains sluggish and our state is not alone in that sentiment,” says Tory Nixon. “However, we’re seeing that businesses – especially small businesses – remain committed to creating jobs and growing enterprise in California. Small business is still the backbone of our state’s economy. ” Through California Bank & Trust’s recently announced TEAM initiative, the bank offers small businesses in California resources to help get their businesses up and running and to keep them growing and thriving. TEAM, which represents “Tools, Education, Access and Mentoring,” strengthens California Bank & Trust’s longstanding commitment to identify the economic needs of the communities served by the bank and to focus on meeting the needs of businesses through community-specific lending initiatives. “With our network of highly experienced, professional bankers, and in cooperation with community based and economic development organizations, we can provide expert guidance to business owners in California,” says Nixon. “Our TEAM Initiative’s website features videos, information and useful tools to help small business owners. This survey makes it clear that businesses in California continue to overcome challenges to succeed. It remains California Bank & Trust’s mission to provide our customers the help they need to grow, thrive and become a valuable part of their communities.” About California Bank & Trust California Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION), is one of the largest banks headquartered in California with over $10 billion in assets and more than 100 branches statewide. CB&T provides a full array of financial solutions for businesses and individuals, including commercial and small business lending, cash management, international banking and wealth management. The professional bankers at CB&T are backed by major resources, yet maintain local-decision making authority and regional market and industry expertise. They are committed to providing clients with valuable business and economic insights and to connecting them with the beneficial business relationships they need to succeed. CB&T is consistently rated by the FDIC as “outstanding” for its Community Reinvestment Act activities. To learn more, visit www.calbanktrust.com. Connect with California Bank & Trust on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. About the Survey California Bank & Trust surveyed 1,222 respondents in California online in May, 2012 and again in September, 2012. The small businesses were defined for the survey as having $10 million or less in annual revenues.
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