Small Business Market Attracts National Lenders
PRNewswire (11/02/00) Vol. 140, No. 43 p.G1; Burns, Judith

At an October audioconference conducted by RMA-The Risk Management Association, Steve Abercrombie, president of Business Resource Services, spoke about how the small-business market is currently attracting lenders on a national scale, including nonbank and Internet lenders. According to Abercrombie, the small-business market is the fastest growing segment of the economy, with the number of small businesses rising from 16 million in 1990 to 21 million in 1999. At the same time, however, Abercrombie said that local banks are no longer as important for small businesses as they once were, and to stay competitive, community banks will have to devise proper marketing strategies. Large nonbank lenders such as American Express, AT&T, and Merrill Lynch are aggressively trying to break into the small-business market. In order to take advantage of opportunities presented by the small-business market, bankers need to understand that market. In particular, Abercrombie suggested, banks should examine the profile mix of their customers and work out where the potential for growth lies. In addition, he suggests, banks should carry out a survey to find out how they are viewed by their customers, and what customers think of the services they provide.

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