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Money In The Bank

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you still haven't formed a relationship with your very own friendly neighborhood banker, then you'd better run--not walk--to that bank and make yourself known. Otherwise, you could really be missing out: When it comes time to get that important loan, a friendly working relationship with your banker may be your biggest advantage.

That's the word from Jere Glover, chief counsel for the SBA's Office of Advocacy, who shared with us results from the office's "Micro--Friendly Banks in the United States 1999 Edition" report. The thing that stands out most about this sixth annual survey of loans of $100,000 or less, says Glover, is that although business lending as a whole has continued an upward climb, the rate of actual dollar amount lent to entrepreneurs has slowed. "This is not [as bad as it seems] for business," he says, "because we've had rather robust growth through the years [3, 4 and 5 percent]. But now, [with this year's 2.5 percent increase], it's not growing as fast."

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