Bank of America announced today that it has hired more than 70 small business bankers throughout Northern California to provide guidance to local small business owners. The additions are part of the company's previously announced plan to hire approximately 1,000 small business bankers nationwide.
Through a relationship with a Bank of America small business banker, clients will have convenient access to local small business expertise and a dedicated resource who knows their business. Small business bankers will consult with small business owners at their place of business and assess their deposit, credit and cash management needs.
These new hires will support the unique needs of small business owners across the following regions:
- Bay Area – 31 hires
- Fresno Area – 14 hires
- Sacramento – 14 hires
- San Jose and Monterey Bay – 15 hires
Findings from the recently released Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country, revealed that only 27 percent of Bay Area small business owners consider themselves to be very financially savvy. The remaining respondents admitted to needing occasional or ongoing expert help.
"Northern California remains a hotbed for entrepreneurship and is cultivating some of the most inspired leaders in the small business segment," said Emily Shanks, Small Business Banking region executive for the West. "As small businesses in the region continue to help drive our economy forward, our small business bankers will be there to provide them with the solutions they need to better manage their finances and run more efficiently."
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 3.4 million small businesses in California. These businesses represent over 99 percent of all employers and over half (51 percent) of the private-sector workforce. In the Bay Area alone, there are more than 85,000 small and new startup companies, representing 98 percent of the city's businesses. Additionally, according to the 2011 Index of Silicon Valley, the number of start-up companies in the Silicon Valley area continues to grow with new firm openings increasing by 48 percent, resulting in 20,200 net new business establishments, in recent years.
Bank of America has continued to actively lend to small businesses across the U.S. and California. In the first quarter of 2012, Bank of America extended $669.2 million in credit across California to businesses with less than $20 million in annual revenues, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2011. This number includes $356.6 million in new originations, which has helped enable Bank of America to exceed its national small business lending pledge to the White House and the SBA.
Bank of America is also the leading bank supporting Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), providing more than $200 million to finance small businesses that cannot qualify for traditional loans. The CDFI grant program, created in 2010 to unlock low-cost Federal micro-capital for small businesses, has allowed CDFIs to access more than $102 million from the SBA and USDA, serving over 9,000 local businesses and helping to retain more than 14,000 jobs.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,250 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Reporters May Contact:
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America, 1.213.621.7414