Small Business Loan Approval Rates at Banks Fell in August 2020: Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™

Slight Declines in Approval Percentages at Alternative Lenders and Credit Unions

NEW YORK, Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Small business loan approval percentages at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) and small banks dropped slightly in August 2020, an indication that the upward trend that began in May has plateaued, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™ released today.

“PPP loans came to a halt on August 8, and it has been tough to secure traditional small business funding in the coronavirus era,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, who oversees the monthly research. “Big banks hit a record low approval rate of 8.9% in April and were slowly rebounding, but the curve flattened last month.”

In August, big banks granted only 13.6% of the loan applications they received, compared to 13.8% in July. Similarly, small banks approved 18.5% of funding requests, a small dip from 18.6% the previous month.

“The discouraging part is that the trend over the past several months had been positive. Now it seems to have leveled off,” added Arora, one of the nation’s leading experts in small business lending. “It’s a wait-and-see attitude – especially when some businesses are not yet operating at full capacity.”

The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index figures do not reflect approval of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that are made by the government, rather than by the banks themselves. PPP lending ended on August 8 after providing nearly 5 million small businesses with an infusion of much needed cash, which will likely be “forgivable loans” in most cases. Now that the program has ended, many small business owners are hoping that Congress will pass PPP2 legislation to help continue the flow of capital to America’s small businesses.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Jobs Report on September 4 found that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it. Notable job gains in the private sector occurred in retail, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services. Many of those jobs are created by small businesses.

Loan approval rates among alternative lenders dropped a notch from 23.1% last month to 23.0% in August. Likewise, credit unions also slipped one-tenth of a percent from 21.2% in July to 21.1% this month.

Institutional lenders were the only category of lender that saw an uptick in approval percentages during August, as approvals rose from 21.9% in July, up from 22.0% in August.

“Institutional lenders saw only a slight gain,” Arora said. “Overall, it was a tough month for small business borrowers who are assessing their next move as they try to forge a path forward.”

About the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index
Biz2Credit analyzed loan requests from companies in business more than two years with credit scores above 680. The results are based on primary data submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who applied for funding on Biz2Credit's platform.

About Biz2Credit
Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged more than $3 billion in small business financing. The company is expanding its industry-leading technology in custom digital platform solutions for banks and other financial institutions, investors, and service providers. Visit or Twitter @Biz2Credit, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: John Mooney, (908) 720-6057,