Survey: Small businesses seeking loan opportunities from community banks

More than half of community bankers in a recent survey cited small-business loans as a high priority in 2022, with most small-business owners saying in the same poll that they plan to borrow an average of $2 million over the next two years. Digital banking technology provider Amount commissioned a survey of 260 financial institutions and more than 1,200 small-business owners about their financial priorities. Fifty-six percent of community bankers said small-business loans were a high lending priority this year, down from 66% in a similar survey in 2020.

Still, small-business owners are looking to banks for funding, according to the survey. Sixty-two percent of owners said they planned to borrow an average of $2 million in the next two years. Sixty-nine percent of owners preferred to get loans from their primary bank. “Community banks have an incredible opportunity in front of them to reach new small-business customers, and protect their standing and reputations in the communities they serve,” said Amount CEO Adam Hughes.

As far as other lending priorities for banks in 2022, 57% of respondents cited commercial and industrial loans as a high priority, followed by commercial real estate loans (53%), mortgage and refinance loans (37%), home equity loans and lines of credit (20%) and loan participations (15%). Auto loans, other personal loans, point-of-sale and buy-now-pay-later loans, and student loans all fell below 10%.