It is almost impossible to overrate the importance of bank finance to small businesses. At present some 60 per cent of all the funds needed by small businesses come from the banks. Although the pattern of borrowing by large businesses is changing, and there is some evidence that they are looking elsewhere in their search for funds, this is not true for small businesses. If anything the reverse is the case. Nowadays small businesses turn to their local branch manager, not only for short-term funds but, increasingly, for medium- and long-term funds. It is evident that the relationship that the proprietor or manager of a small business has with his local branch manager is of crucial importance. When he wants money it is to his branch manager that he will almost certainly turn in the first place. It is for this reason that we deal here with the practicalities of applying for a bank loan. In Chapter 8 we have already covered the general approach for presenting a case for finance.
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