Study: Small Business Owners are Not Taking Full Advantage of Available Resources

Small Business Week 2016 Infographic | Fifth Third Bank (Graphic: Business Wire)

CINCINNATI--()--Nearly four out of five small business owners admit that they have not taken full advantage of national and community resources dedicated to helping small businesses develop and grow, according to a national survey recently conducted by Fifth Third Bank.

In advance of Small Business Week May 1-7, Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB) commissioned a national survey of more than 500 small business owners to assess the landscape – and diagnose common pain points that U.S. small business owners face. According to the results, 81 percent of survey participants said they haven’t worked with local small business resources (e.g., chamber of commerce, SCORE, etc.).

Kala Gibson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Banking for Fifth Third Bank, notes that these pain points are common, but can assure small business owners that there are plenty of resources to help improve their cash flow and reach their business goals.

“It’s no secret that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but as any entrepreneur can attest, starting or growing that business is no easy task,” Gibson said. “As we join with the rest of the nation in celebrating Small Business Week, we strongly encourage small business owners to explore all the available products and resources that will help your business grow.”

When it comes to the primary resources for help and advice for a small business owner, survey respondents said they consider other small business owners (28%), family (25%), friends (18%), the Internet (11%) and their attorney (6%) as primary resources for help and advice before they consider their banker (5.49%), community assistance provider, chamber of commerce and SBA1. The survey also revealed that 38 percent of small business owners say they need help growing revenue and increasing profits.

Fifth Third Bank is committed to the development of small businesses throughout the bank’s footprint. In 2015, the bank loaned more than $2 billion to small businesses to help start and grow their businesses. The bank recently announced a five-year community commitment of $7 million to support community resources that are vital partners in helping businesses grow.

Greenwich Associates recognized Fifth Third as one of the “best brands” in small business banking. Additionally, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) revealed last year that Fifth Third is the largest lender by dollar amount since the program’s inception in 2011.

Despite the vast array of financial assistance available to small business owners, Fifth Third’s survey also showed that small business owners have a lot of personal cash tied up in their business:

  • Three out of four small business owners used personal savings or retirement funds to start their business
  • 28% said they would use a credit card to inject capital into their business
  • Nearly four out of 10 said they didn’t have enough cash reserves to meet their business objectives
  • Only 7% had applied for an SBA loan.

“It’s okay to have a portion of your personal wealth in your business, but you shouldn’t drain your savings or create excess debt to fund daily business operations,” Gibson said. “By working closely with your banker and community assistance providers like SCORE, small business owners can improve their cash flow and turn personal capital into working capital.”

For more information on how Fifth Third Bank supports small businesses, please visit

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $142 billion in assets and operates 1,241 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and over 2,500 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has an 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2016, had $303 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858.

Copyright © 2016 Fifth Third Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, All Rights Reserved.

1Other small business owners (28.64%), family (25.06%), friends (18.38%), the Internet (11.46%), and attorney (6.44%) all outrank banker (5.49%), community assistance provider (1.67%), chamber of commerce (0.72%) and SBA (0.72%) as primary resources for help/advice with business.


Fifth Third Bancorp
Sean Parker, 513-534-6791


Fifth Third Bancorp
Sean Parker, 513-534-6791