Arizona Bankers Association Broadens the Lines of Communication Between Small Businesses and Valley Banks

Arizona Bankers Association May 17, 2013

It can sometimes be frustrating for small business owners to navigate the application process on small business loans. The Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) convened a group of East Valley small-business owners and local bank executives to attempt to bridge that gap on Friday, May 17.

The event was designed to help small business owners better position themselves to obtain small business loans by developing mutually beneficial relationships with bankers specializing in that market. Some of the tips the bankers provided included being able to articulate the business’ value proposition to its target market and the business plan to reach it, getting to know bankers at several financial institutions in the community, and developing at least two ways to repay the loan.

The event was hosted by the Arizona Bankers Association and moderated by Arizona State Representative Tom Forese (R-Chandler). Steve Emerson, president of Careful Cleaners Dry Cleaning in Mesa, helped organize the meeting to address some frustrations by several East Valley small-business owners with a perceived high degree of difficulty in accessing capital to start or grow their businesses in the post-recession environment. “This was a mutually valuable forum for not only providing small business owners with some good advice on accessing credit, but also for giving the bankers a better sense of how to approach this market.”

Paul Hickman, Arizona Bankers Association president, said, “The bankers look at this as an opportunity to generate business both in the near term from those entrepreneurs who are already credit worthy, and in the medium and long term by giving those who are not the tools they need to get there.”

Topics included interest rates and small business loans, regulatory and market pressures impacting loan costs, the approval process, and documentation and collateral requirements. This was the first such forum the Bankers Association has spearheaded this year. Hickman said that, given its success and potential, he would seek to do several more this summer and fall throughout the state.

Arizona Bankers Association
The Arizona Bankers Association is the 110 year old trade association for Arizona’s commercial banks. The Association represents banks taking deposits statewide, from Tubac to Tuba City and all points in between.

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