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87% Of Small Businesses Borrowing At Pre-Pandemic Rates

78% Credit “Brand Trustworthiness” as Key Factor when Selecting a Financial Service Provider

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to demonstrate resilience and optimism for the future according to a study released by Cargo, which shows that 87% of SMBs are borrowing from their financial service providers at the same rate as they were before the pandemic began. The latest “Heads Up” study from Cargo and their research partner, Phase 5, also found that 49% of SMBs in North America are optimistic about the future of their businesses.

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The survey of 1,300 SMBs also showcases the importance of consistency and trust when small-business owners chose a financial services partner, with 93% of owners using the same financial services provider for most of their needs, and 63% utilizing their personal bank for their business needs as well. “Brand trustworthiness” also was cited by SMBs as a key factor when initially selecting a financial services provider (78%). One small-business owner who was surveyed said, “I need my vendors to give me timely service when there is a problem. That inflection point is usually when I fall in love with my financial services provider or decide to replace them.”

The study also revealed that SMBs prioritize three critical areas where they need assistance from their financial service providers: 1) help with day-to-day issues such as invoices and payments, 2) timely transfers and confirmation, and 3) setting up accounts and services.

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“Small-business owners did not start their companies so they could be accountants, payroll experts, and bankers,” says Toby Stansell, CEO of Cargo. “While it is certainly part of the job to stay on top of their finances, small-business owners are looking to their financial services providers to spearhead their operations in these areas, make recommendations regarding their businesses, and generally treat them as partners, instead of just being another vendor.”

With offices in Greenville, SC and Toronto, Canada, the 65-employee Cargo has been delivering advertising and marketing solutions and services to clients since its founding in 2006. The agency specializes in connecting big brands with small to medium-sized business customers, and services some of the world’s largest and best-known companies. Cargo was named one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc.

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