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Articles posted by Josh Hart

FEB
18
0

Overall market insecurity drives loan approval rates at large and small banks. Facing wider insecurity because of low oil prices and a turbulent stock market, numbers show a slight decline in loan approvals to small business, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. The drop in lending approval rates from small banks is slight, from 49.1% in December to 49% in January. But with continuing instability, the question of further decline looms. Additionally, credit unions saw a similar decline, from 42.3% to 42%. Experts note the lack of technology within credit unions to expedite loan applications contributes to their drop in loan approvals. Without the convenience of online applications and speedy loan approvals, customers are seeking other lending choices. Credit unions will likely change their approach, adapting to technology, thought the move has been slow. Canada's first financial institution to implement online lending options, Northern Credit Union, is offering business accounts with a line of credit online to help small businesses in the Northern economy get a foothold. With 3,000 business members in Ontario, it's a start.
FEB
16
0

As the number of people across the planet using smartphones is expected to reach 50% by 2017, just about every marketer knows the value of mobile marketing. People are as familiar with the emoji as they are the power button on the T.V. remote. They are by now, a customary part of language; part of our vernacular. Text speak, including emoji use, is most familiar to Generation Z, the generation loosely categorized as the one born after 2000. They've grown up in a digitally-connected world, using mobile technology from a young age, text messaging to communicate, and substituting words out for emojis to convey emotion. The emoji is not just a fad.
JAN
28
0

Heading into the year with a positive outlook is good for everyone, including current small business owners, employees, and hopeful entrepreneurs. In a climate that fosters advancing technology, mobile technology, automation, and ever-growing lending options, small businesses have the opportunity to take giant leaps this year. Maria Contreras-Sweet, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, recently addressed a gathering of business owners, bankers, managers, real estate developers, and other members of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts. Her message was one of optimism, noting consistent growth. Particularly, 70 consecutive months of job growth, two-thirds of that from small businesses. Before her appointment to head the SBA just shy of 2 years ago, Contreras-Sweet was a community banker in Los Angeles. Now, her agency's mission, she says, "can be described with three C's: counseling, capital, and contacts." Seeing an increase in small business lending--as much as $23 billion this fiscal year--she notes the SBA further helps small business by helping them offer their products and services to the federal government, which "buys just about everything," she said.
JAN
20
0

Competition continues to grow for lenders, opening the field for lending opportunities for small businesses. It's good news for entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses this year by expanding facilities, upgrading technology, investing in employee expertise, improving a manufacturing process, or launching a new marketing focus. According to MiBiz, a Michigan-based finance blog, businesses with a good track record should have an easier time accessing loans in 2016, sharing an optimistic look at the banking climate. As loan options increase for small businesses, banks are taking a "more aggressive lending posture after repairing their balance sheets in the wake of the recession." Great news, right?
JAN
13
0

It's January! Time to make resolutions about your health, eating habits, happiness; set goals and make plans for the new year. If you're a small business owner, you might consider doing the same. Whether you scoff at resolutions, or try to start each year anew, taking stock of your business at the new year and defining clear goals for growth is never a bad idea. Step back, take a look at where you stand--your financial health, your employees, your marketing plans, your new product/service plans--and forge resolutions to make your business increasingly profitable. Here are 5 business resolutions to put at the top of your list.


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