Bank of America must be betting on the future of small businesses. Last year, the financial institution increased small business lending by 28 percent and hired new small business loan officers.
In all, Bank of America extended $8.7 billion of new credit to small businesses in 2012.
Bank of America, however, has taken a number of other steps in recent months that are aimed at further helping small businesses. One of those moves includes the hiring of more than 1,000 bankers nationwide to help facilitate small business lending. Those bankers specialize in helping small business owners deal with the unique financial needs presented to them.
"With the creation of the small business banker role, Bank of America responded directly to what our clients asked for — locally based small business experts who provide small businesses with the financial solutions necessary to sustain and grow their business," said Robb Hilson, small business executive for Bank of America. "Making local expertise more accessible and enabling our clients’ growth through new credit are essential to how we help them succeed."
Bank of America says the moves help to reflect a need they saw to help small businesses with financial matters.
"Our recent Small Business Owner Report shows that 69 percent of small business owners are reaching out to financial experts for help," said Anna Colton, small business banker national sales executive for Bank of America. "Our approach is to get to know the business owner and their needs by investing time in developing a relationship with the small business. As a result, our bankers have met with more than 300,000 small business owners since the beginning of 2011."
In addition to those measures, Bank of America has also expanded online services aimed at helping small business owners. The company relaunched the Small Business Online Community website to help facilitate conversation between small business owners.