While May is recognized as National Small Business Month, TD Bank honors the hard work of our small business customers all year long as we know they are the lifeblood of our local economies. We recently sat down with Amy Dinkar-Patel, who leads small business at TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, to talk about the vital part small businesses play.
Q: Can you share your thoughts on the role small businesses play in our economy?
Amy: Absolutely. Small businesses are truly the engines of economic growth in our country. They create jobs, drive innovation, and help tie local communities together through the services they provide. In fact, small businesses account for more than 99% of all businesses in the United States (SBA 2022) and employ nearly half of the country's private sector workforce (U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy).
Q: That's quite a staggering figure. How has the pandemic affected small businesses, and what role have financial institutions played in supporting them?
Amy: The pandemic was incredibly challenging for small businesses, and the reverberations are still being felt today. Many were forced to close their doors temporarily or permanently, and those that remained open had to adjust their operations to comply with health and safety regulations as well as increased demands from customers for greater convenience. The banking industry has played a critical role in supporting small businesses throughout this difficult time — offering loan forbearance, providing access to capital through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and developing new business products to help small businesses not just survive but thrive.
Q: That's great to hear. With May being Small Business Month, what initiatives does TD Bank have in place to support small businesses?
Amy: We are committed to supporting small businesses not just during Small Business Month but throughout the year. We take pride in our position as the #1 SBA Lender in our footprint. We offer a range of lending products, including SBA loans, lines of credit, and term loans. We also have a team of experienced bankers who specialize in small business lending and can help guide entrepreneurs through the lending process.
In recognition of Small Business Month, and to deepen our commitment to deliver a legendary customer experience, TD launched six attractive offers that are in market April 1 – July 3 and range from lending products to merchant solutions, small business checking and more. Information on the offers and other resources we have in place to support our small business customers can be found here.
Q: That's fantastic to hear. One final question: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to start a small business in today's economy?
Amy: It's true that some of the best businesses start during tricky times like these. My advice to entrepreneurs looking to start a small business today would be do your research, develop a solid business plan, and build a strong support network. It's also important to be resilient and adaptable, especially during uncertain times like these. And, of course, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are many resources available, including trusted banking partners, that are dedicated to supporting small businesses, providing local and national insights, and helping them achieve their goals.