A new report published today by Oxford Economics found that a decade after the financial crisis, American small businesses continue to be neglected by banks. These smaller businesses are increasingly turning to non-bank providers for their financing needs, enabling them to drive the broader economy forward.
The “Big Business of Small Business” report, launched in partnership with Phoenix Funding Source, finds that despite the vast economic output generated by small businesses, banks are continuing to focus on loans to larger companies. The report shows that while commercial lending is increasing overall, banks relaxed their approval standards and interest rate spreads for loans to large and middle-market businesses much more than they did for small companies in 2018, putting smaller businesses at a disadvantage against larger competitors. Small businesses are responsible for 47.5% of US employment, but lending to this segment remains a tiny proportion of US banks’ overall balance sheets (0.7%).
As a result, small businesses are increasingly moving on to alternatives offering a faster, more efficient experience without sacrificing on cost and transparency. In 2018, 32 percent of US small businesses seeking finance turned to online providers, up from 19 percent two years prior. This access to affordable business credit creates a ripple effect throughout the economy.