Small businesses power the American economy. Thousands of regions and communities across the nation rely on them to facilitate economic growth and job creation. When small businesses succeed, Greater Gainesville and other markets like it succeed. Access to capital is important for small business development.
How many people are in the small business community?
The reality is staggering: millions. According to the National Small Business Association (NSBA) and ZipRecruiter 2017 Year-End Economic Report, 99.7 percent of all employer firms in America were small employers and 25 percent of the total U.S. population was part of the small business community. That equated to approximately 82 million people, based on U.S. Census Bureau data. The report also noted there were 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and 70 percent of them were owned and operated by a single person.
What is key to small business success?
The answer is simple: financing. Whether it is bringing an idea to market, developing new services, marketing products, or scaling operations, financial resources are needed. A 2016 report from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy indicated four main factors driving small business borrowing: launching a business, buying inventory, expanding a business, and strengthening finances.
What happens if small business financing is an issue?
The truth is sobering: problems. According to the NSBA and ZipRecruiter report, which surveyed 1,633 small business owners, 31 percent of respondents said they would be unable to grow their business or expand operations if capital availability was a problem. Survey results also revealed 14 percent of respondents indicating they would be unable to finance increased sales and 13 percent noting that would reduce the number of employees.
What is the size of the small business financing market?
One word describes it: big. According to the SBA report, the small business financing market in 2015 was nearly $1.2 trillion with $600 billion sourced from bank loans and $593 billion drawn from other sources such as venture capital, angel capital, and finance companies. Personal savings, credit cards, online lending platforms, home equity, and family and friends comprise other sources of funds.
What types of financing have small businesses used?
Based on survey data from the NSBA and ZipRecruiter report, 15 percent of small business owners used large bank loans, 14 percent utilized community bank loans, and 2 percent secured credit union loans to access financing in 2017. Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions have played a valuable role in providing capital.
Spotlight: Ameris Bank
Founded in 1971, Ameris Bank is a community bank dedicated to bringing financial peace of mind to its communities. “At Ameris Bank, we understand that small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities. We are proud to celebrate the hard work and determination of small business owners and are committed to offering tailored solutions to help their businesses grow,” said Suzanne Norris, Market President.
Popular small business lending solutions offered by Ameris Bank include commercial real estate financing, equipment financing, and SBA financing. Properties financed include medical office, hotel, multi-family and student housing, retail, office, industrial, and self-storage. Equipment financing solutions are offered in specialized industries such as construction, transportation, distribution, wholesale, healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture. SBA financing options include real estate loans, business acquisition financing, and franchise lending.
Ameris Bank offers other services supporting small businesses including business checking and savings solutions, payroll solutions, and merchant services. Experienced bankers work to give business owners the most appropriate checking and savings solutions. When it comes to payroll, flexible online solutions are crafted to help save business owners time and money. From accepting payments and managing inventory, to creating eCommerce platforms and more, merchant services solutions are designed to simplify operations and help businesses grow.
Saving Money: Premier Plumbing and Leak
A small business in the region with 18 employees implemented the Ameris payroll solution in 2018 and realized considerable savings.
Wayne Moon, owner of Premier Plumbing and Leak said, “The Ameris Bank payroll solution has saved my company thousands of dollars each month, which I have been able to reinvest into growing the business. Ameris has been an outstanding partner.”
Spotlight: Florida Credit Union
A leading credit union in North Central Florida, Florida Credit Union (FCU) has provided small business banking services aimed at assisting their commercial members for over 60 years. FCU is a customer-owned financial services cooperative committed to its members and their needs. Their stockholders and customers are the same people and are called “members.”
Small business loans from FCU include commercial real estate loans, car, truck, van, and boat loans, and equipment and machinery loans. Real estate loans cover everything from new location purchases to remodels and new construction projects. Vehicle loans cover the gamut from one new vehicle to an entire new fleet. Construction equipment, farm machinery, office electronics and even computers can also be financed through FCU.
“The benefits of our financial products include lower rates, less closing costs, local decision making, and personal service,” said Evan Pitts who serves as SVP of Commercial Services. FCU’s team of small business banking professionals is prepared to help businesses manage their finances and foster growth.
By Kamal I. Latham