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Small Business Lending Ticks Up in March

  • Lenders are slightly more willing to approve small business loans amid signs of strengthening economy
  • Loan approval rate remains considerably below pre-pandemic levels
  • Alternative lenders have the highest loan approval rate

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Lenders were slightly more likely to approve non-PPP loans to small businesses in March, according to the latest Small Business Lending Index from the financing resource Biz2Credit. The trend comes amid signs of economic improvement, such as stronger job reports, but the data also reflects tightened access to capital compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key takeaways include:

  • Loan approval rate among all lender types inches up from February but remains below March 2020 levels, with smaller banks approving loans at less than half the rate they did last year
  • Alternative lenders had the highest loan approval rate at 23.9 percent
  • Biz2Credit says the majority of loan requests made through its platform continue to be for the Paycheck Protection Program

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