It’s not uncommon for the months-long approval process to take its toll on a small business owner. What’s more, “Most banks are six weeks out before they’ll even talk to you about an SBA loan,” said Flynn. “Instead of sending the 20-page packet and wishing them luck, I try to meet with potential borrowers right away. Instead of expecting the small business owner to plow through a bunch of unfamiliar documents, I digest their financial statements and other documents and start the SBA forms myself. That way, the next time we meet, we can fill in the blanks and try to shorten a very lengthy approval process.”
Community lending decisions are made in the community
Of course this is problematic for bigger banks, but the approval process begins and ends within the walls of a single Holladay Bank & Trust office. Everyone involved is under one roof, part of the same team and invested in helping the small business community in their community.
Of course Holladay Bank & Trust might be on the smaller end of the small business lending continuum, but I think it is on to something. Collectively, small business makes a big difference in the economy. Flynn argues there are other bankers just like her all across the country. Small-business owners just need to look for them.
Access to capital is one of the biggest challenges faced by Main Street. I’d love to hear from other lenders who are helping the Main Street business owners in their community.
As a Main Street business evangelist and marketing veteran with more than 25 years in the trenches, Ty Kiisel writes about leading people and small-business issues for lendio.com.