Approval rates for small business loan applications inched up to yet another record high of 27.6% at big banks (more than$10 billion in assets) in June, while the approval percentage also climbed at small banks, hitting 50% for the first time in 2019, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.
“Small business lending is thriving this year at big banks, as well as at regional and community banks. Currently, access to capital is quite good for small business owners who are looking to grow their enterprises,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, who oversees the monthly research derived from more than 1,000 small business credit applications on his company’s online lending platform.
“In a strong economy such as this one, entrepreneurs with a solid record of payment are likely to get the financing they need for working capital and future growth needs.”
Small bank approvals of small business loan applications climbed one-tenth of a percent from 49.9% in May to 50% in June.
“Half of the applicants who go to small banks for funding are getting the money they need. The widespread availability of SBA loans at regional and community banks plays an important role,” Arora explained.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department’s Jobs Report released on July 5, reported that employment nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, while the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that significant job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, transportation, and warehousing.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased in May, the most recent month reported by the NFIB, to a new record high. Capital spending plans increased along with actual outlays. Small business owners’ expectations for sales, business conditions, and expansion all rose.
Institutional lenders’ approval rates climbed to 65.6%, up one-tenth of a percent from May’s figure of 65.5%.
“While credit unions are increasingly partnering with the SBA on small business loans, the moves are not yet making a big impact,” said Arora, who oversees the Biz2Credit research. “Credit unions are still hurt by the Member Business Lending cap, which limits their loan approvals to 12.25% of their assets, and by the fact that many of them have not digitized the small business loan application process.”
Biz2Credit analyzed loan requests ranging from $25,000 to $3 million from companies in business more than two years with an average credit score above 680. The results are based on primary data submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who applied for funding on Biz2Credit’s online lending platform, which connects business borrowers and lenders.