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Your Friendly Local Bankers


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YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL BANKERS

You've probably never heard of the best banks for small biz: Most are local and have less than $500 million in assets. In the Small Business Administration's latest annual lending survey, Bank of the Sierra in Porterville, Calif., for example, rose from No. 22 in its state last year to No.1. Ratings are based on the proportion of a bank's lending to small business--in both value and number of loans--as well as absolute levels of lending activity, which favor big banks. Overall, the number of loans under $1 million jumped about 25% last year--compared with about 8% in each of the previous two studies--although total dollar value rose only 5%. For the full report and listings by state, visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/advo/lendinginus2.html.EDITED BY EDITH UPDIKEReturn to top

TABLE

Small and Simpatico

The banks rated friendliest to small business in the half-dozen most populous

states

STATE/ BANK SMALL-BIZ TOTAL

HEADQUARTERS LOANS ASSETS

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

CALIFORNIA Bank of $72 $334

Porterville the Sierra

TEXAS* First Bank of 34 95

Conroe Conroe NA

NEW YORK Wyoming County 53 328

Warsaw Bank

FLORIDA Community Bank 80 239

Homestead of Homestead

PENNSYLVANIA Pioneer American 75 356

Carbondale Bank NA

ILLINOIS Mercantile Trust 88 290

Quincy & Savings Bank

*First Bank tied with six others.

DATA: U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

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