CINCINNATI, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly four out of five small business owners admit that they have not taken full advantage of national and community resources dedicated to helping small businesses develop and grow, according to a survey recently conducted by Fifth Third Bank.
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In advance of Small Business Week May 1-7, Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB) conducted a national survey of more than 500 small business owners to assess the landscape – and diagnose common pain points – of U.S. small business owners. According to the results, 81 percent of survey participants said they haven't worked with local small business resources (e.g., chamber of commerce, SCORE, etc.). Forty-one percent were unsure if the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) had resources to help them. Roughly 38 percent of small business owners say they need help growing revenue and increasing profits.
Kala Gibson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Banking for Fifth Third Bank, notes that these pain points are common, but assures small business owners that there are plenty of resources to help improve their cash flow and reach their business goals.
"It's no secret that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but as any entrepreneur can attest, starting or growing that business is no easy task," Gibson said. "As we join with the rest of the nation in celebrating Small Business Week, we strongly encourage small business owners to explore all the available products and resources that will help your business grow."
Fifth Third customer Lindsay Robinson recently acquired Ohio-based Wall Decal World, a business that produces custom designs and wall decals for businesses and home use. Lindsay was originally hired by the owner of the company as a graphics designer 3.5 years ago and decided to work with the former owner to purchase the business.
She began the process by connecting with the Warren County Small Business Developmental Center (SBDC), a technical assistance provider for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. They helped her outline her business plan and gather documents required to secure an SBA Express loan.
"The SBDC helped me prepare my business plan and gather the appropriate documentation to apply for an SBA loan," Robinson said. "I was already a retail customer with Fifth Third, and the bank was instrumental in helping me secure a loan to purchase the business and the rest is history."
Gibson notes that Robinson's approach to purchasing the business was correct and encourages businesses to try pursuing a similar path.
"By taking advantage of the many free resources available in their community, small business owners can greatly improve their success rate," Gibson said. "I was shocked to learn that fewer than 5% of small business owners said they use their banker or community assistance provider as a primary resource for business advice."
Fifth Third Bank is committed to the development of small businesses throughout the bank's footprint. The bank recently announced a five-year community commitment of $7 million to support community resources that are vital partners in helping businesses grow. In 2015, the bank loaned more than $2 billion to small businesses to help start and grow their businesses.
Greenwich Associates recognized Fifth Third as one of the "best brands" in small business banking. Additionally, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) revealed last year that Fifth Third is the largest lender by dollar amount since the program's inception in 2011.
Despite the vast array of financial assistance available to small business owners, Fifth Third's survey also showed that small business owners have a lot of personal cash tied up in their business:
- Three out of four small business owners used personal savings or retirement funds to start their business
- 28% said they would use a credit card to inject capital into their business
- Nearly four out of 10 said they didn't have enough cash reserves to meet their business objectives
- Only 7% had applied for an SBA loan.
"It's okay to use a portion of your personal wealth in your business, but you shouldn't drain your savings or create excess debt to fund daily business operations," Gibson said. "By working closely with your banker and community assistance providers like SCORE and Small Business Development Centers, small business owners can improve their cash flow and turn personal capital into working capital."
For more information on how Fifth Third Bank supports small businesses, please visit https://www.53.com/business.
About Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $141 billion in assets and operates 1,254 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,593 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has an 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2015, had $297 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC
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SOURCE Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB)