Small businesses: the backbone of California

Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal
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By Steve Nuñez, Vice President and Relationship Manager for Mission Valley Bank

There are 4 million small businesses in California, which account for 99.8% of California businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2019 Small Business Profile.

Collectively, small businesses employ 7.1 million workers representing 48.8% of California employees.

So far this year the SBA Office of Advocacy’s Economic Bulletin for March 2019 showed gains in the number of employer small firms, owner’s income and net job creation. Small-business lending – commercial and industrial plus commercial real estate loans under $1 million – increased 8% over the last five years, keeping up with inflation. The recovery of small business lending remains tentative, even with low loan-delinquency rates.

As important as small business is to the state’s economy, building a great business takes focus, determination, patience and time to build, along with passion, know-how and an entrepreneurial inclination.

When it comes to choosing a banking partner, today’s business owners and managers are looking beyond the transactional side of what is offered. They’re seeking a relationship that provides expertise and a bank willing to work with them as a “Trusted Adviser” to help achieve greater success. Woven into that relationship, businesses seek a bank that demonstrates a techno-savvy, client-focused, community-minded, and relationship-driven approach.

When looking to enter a banking relationship, entrepreneurs should seek out banks that have shifted from the traditional product focus to a more client-centric strategy. In return, banks should be willing to cultivate an even deeper knowledge and understanding of their customers.

Lastly, to achieve trust, banks must demonstrate their dedication to a broader purpose. They need to prove they are not just driven by quick profits, but also by shared values. There is tremendous value in working with a client-focused, relationship-driven banker that will invest the time necessary to truly get to know a business and understand its unique needs. The path to long-term success is for businesses to develop long-term relationships with bankers who demonstrate expertise, experience and dedication to their success.

Steve Nuñez is the vice president and relationship manager at Mission Valley Bank, a locally-owned, full service, independent community business bank with Preferred SBA Lender status serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. Steve can be reached at (661) 753-5681 and by email at [email protected] or at

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