SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Mat Mathews, PR.com Newswire, David Smith, Tim Crawford, Kevin Benedict

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Small Business Week(TM): Increase in Bank Lending Helps Drive Innovation and Growth for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 10/11/12 -- As Small Business Week(TM)(1) approaches, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) celebrates the tremendous contribution that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make to the Canadian economy and how banks help SMEs grow and thrive in communities across Canada.

SMEs are a vital part of the Canadian economy, with firms of less than 100 employees making up 98 per cent of businesses in Canada(2). And SMEs are important customers for banks since they represent the majority of bank business customers. These businesses turn to banks for financing plus a variety of innovative and flexible business solutions: everything from accounts and succession planning to payroll and international trade services.

"SMEs have a lot of choice and competition when it comes to their banking needs so banks have to work hard on behalf of their SME clients," said Marion Wrobel, Vice President, Policy and Operations at the Canadian Bankers Association. "Banks have dedicated small business specialists who understand the challenges that these entrepreneurs have to deal with and can provide the face-to-face relationship that is so important to them."

Banking on small and medium sized enterprises:


--  Banks provide financing to 1.6 million SMEs and, as of June 2012,
    Canada's domestic banks authorized close to $88.5 billion in credit to
    SMEs, up by 11 per cent since the beginning of 2008(3) 

--  88 per cent of all small businesses that applied for a loan in 2010 were
    approved, with an average amount authorized of $319,000(4) 

--  Banks participate in the federal government's Canada Small Business
    Financing Program 

--  78 per cent of SMEs have a positive relationship with their main
    financial institution(5) 

--  Of the 77 per cent of SME owners who have a credit relationship with a
    bank, 90 per cent report it to be positive(6) 

You can learn more about services that banks offer to SMEs here: http://www.cba.ca/en/component/content/category/45-small-business-services.

Or more fast facts about how banks support small business owners: http://www.cba.ca/en/media-room/50-backgrounders-on-banking-issues/124-small-and-medium-sized-enterprises.

BDC Small Business Week runs from October 14 to 20, 2012. For more information and to find out what is going on during Small Business Week, visit the Business Development Bank website: http://www.bdc.ca/en/sbw/pages/home.html.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 274,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness. www.cba.ca.

Follow the CBA on Twitter: @CdnBankers

Watch videos: Youtube.com/CdnBankers

Follow the CBA on LinkedIn

(1) BDC Small Business Week is a trademark of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

(2) Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2011

(3) Canadian Bankers Association, Business Lending Survey (Nine Banks), June 2012

(4) Industry Canada, Credit Conditions Survey - 2010

(5) The Strategic Counsel, SME Survey for the CBA, August 2009

(6) Ibid

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