Small Businesses Leave Big Banks

Bad relationships with big banks are leading more small-business owners to switch to local banks, community banks, or credit unions. While banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America claim their small-business lending has increased this year, many of the banks define small businesses as those with less than $20 million in revenue. Lauri Kaye, owner of Create Café in Tucson, Arizona, called the big banks “incredibly manipulative—those who have no voice are getting pushed around.” While David Meinert, another entrepreneur, said, “It’s frustrating that banks are getting billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money and they’re sitting on that money and not lending it to small businesses.” Having switched from Bank of America to Seattle Bank, Meinert says, “I understand that Seattle Bank is profit-motivated just as Bank of America is, and obviously they are making a profit from me being there. But those profits are staying in Seattle and getting reinvested to help other Seattle small businesses succeed, which improves the economy and ultimately helps my business to succeed.”