Large traditional banks are often top-of-mind for small business owners simply due to their wide market presence and brand recognition. Yet small businesses report much higher satisfaction with credit unions than with big national banks.
According to a survey published by the Federal Reserve related to small business credit, 87% of small businesses that applied for a loan, credit line or cash advance with a credit union reported being satisfied, compared to just 68% that chose large banks, 60% that used finance companies and 43% that opted for online lenders.
Those results confirm what we already know: local credit unions like Bellco offer helpful advantages for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The top five benefits of banking with credit unions include:
1. Lower Fees and Better Rates:
Because credit unions are owned by their members, their primary duty is to their members. At Bellco, for example, because we cater to members instead of to shareholders, we offer affordable loan rates and low fees that lead to cost savings for businesses. This is especially important during times of high inflation when operating costs can rise quickly.
2. Personalized Customer Service:
Credit unions are deeply connected to their local communities and prioritize their members, including small businesses. As one of the largest credit unions in Colorado, Bellco gets to know the unique needs and challenges of small businesses in the communities it serves with specialized business account managers ready to assist. This enables Bellco to provide more personalized financial solutions instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional large banks.
3. Access to Credit:
Securing funding is a critical step for any business. Credit unions like Bellco streamline this process and as a result, we consistently report high customer satisfaction when it comes to commercial lending. Credit unions typically offer business loans with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods, which are highly beneficial for small businesses with limited cash flow.
4. Financial Education and Resources:
Most credit unions place a high value on helping members, including small businesses, enhance their financial well-being. That means they offer free resources, workshops, and financial counseling. At Bellco, we provide a wide range of educational resources, including financial coaching, online educational materials, and free webinars. Our free online tutorials on growing your small business cover topics such as obtaining funding, managing a growing team, and retaining customers.
5. Integrated Financial Solutions:
Credit unions like Bellco usually provide a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, including online and mobile banking, merchant card processing, commercial real estate loans and business money market accounts, to name a few. These integrated offerings simplify daily business operations, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on the strategic aspects of their business. Providing various financial services under one roof also makes banking more convenient and efficient.
To learn more about the many benefits of banking with Bellco to grow your small business, visit our small business banking page.