Financing growth hasn’t been easy, especially since the economic downturn, but there are signs the situation is improving for small businesses. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the value of small business commercial and industrial (C&I) loans increased for the first time in seven quarters, according to the Small Business Association. In particular, micro C&I loans, those for less than $100,000, jumped in popularity. Renee Wood, president of the Comfort Company, which makes sympathy gifts, echoes the sentiments of many small business people in saying that developing a personal relationship with a lender is key to securing funding.
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