Small Business Loan Marketing at All-Time Low, Reports Mintel Comperemedia

CHICAGO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, small business loan marketing remains at an all-time low despite government initiatives to stimulate lending activity.

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In Q3 2010*, just 3% of Mintel Comperemedia's small business panelists received an offer in the mail for a new loan or line of credit, down from 12% two years ago. Some banks are building awareness of their business services through print and online advertising, but most are not reaching out directly to small business owners via direct mail – a key channel for acquiring new customers.

"Small business loan marketing has completely dried up," says Andrew Davidson, senior vice president of Mintel Comperemedia. "Small businesses need loans to invest in capital and hire employees so that they can begin new projects. We need to have faith in these companies in order to break the negative cycle that is holding back the country. An injection of direct marketing activity can jump start small business lending."

On a positive note, small business owners are receiving more offers in the mail for new credit cards. In Q3 2010*, 60% of Mintel Comperemedia's small business panelists received an offer for a new card, up from 33% last year. Capital One, Chase and American Express are leading the recovery.

"Credit cards are a key source of financing for small businesses. An increase in competition is good for small business owners as it drives more favorable pricing and spurs innovation," adds Andrew Davidson.

Business cards were left out of the CARD Act and, as a result, tend to have lower go-to APRs for purchases than cards offered to consumers (issuers had to raise rates on consumer cards to compensate for the new rules, according to Mintel Comperemedia). The mean variable APR on small business credit cards was 11.70% in Q3 2010* compared to 13.81% for consumer cards. Furthermore, many issuers are applying the CARD Act rules to their business customers even though they are not required to by law.

"These are positive signs but more could be done," comments Andrew Davidson. "For example, one of the benefits of owning a business card is a potentially higher credit limit than could be obtained on a consumer card. However, this is not really emphasized in the direct marketing. In fact, most business card offers do not mention the credit limit at all – reverting to this tactic could stimulate investment ideas among small business owners."

*Includes July and August 2010

About Mintel Comperemedia

Mintel Comperemedia provides competitive intelligence for businesses looking to advance and improve their direct marketing strategy. Tracking direct marketing (including mail, email and print advertising) targeted at consumers, small businesses and insurance agents, Mintel Comperemedia offers a unique perspective on everything from banking trends to insurance trends to credit card statistics. For more than 38 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, leading the industry for consumer, product and media intelligence. Follow Mintel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mintelnews

SOURCE Mintel Comperemedia



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