Bank vault doors slowly opening

Date: August 13, 2012

By Pete Daly
Story originally published at

Good news for the economy in general: An expert on small business commercial lending says that market is “really opening up.”

“I like to say the banks are opening up their vault doors wider right now, and more banks are into lending,” said Eric Seifert.

“For an extended period of time, some of the community banks weren’t lending at all. Now they are back in the game, and all banks are getting fairly aggressive,” said Seifert, finance and strategy specialist at the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center at a GVSU facility in Muskegon. His office covers Muskegon, Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties.

However, he added that banks in general “still have high standards — a lot of which is driven by the bank regulators. So it’s not a loose lending environment like it might have been in 2007” and earlier, but credit is “fairly available.”

Seifert has 32-years worth of perspective in the banking industry, including a stint at Old Kent Bank and then at community banks, and he has always been a specialist in SBA lending. In 2006, he was the SBA financial services Champion of the Year — “one of the leading lenders in Michigan that year.”

Small business loan interest rates range from 4 percent to as high as 7 percent, and have been at that level for several years. But what’s different now is the willingness of some financial institutions to offer “real low fixed rates, for a change.”

Eric Seifert

Eric Seifert

For full article, visit the Grand Rapids Business Journal website.

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