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Small Business Drives Economy

Small business continues to exert a powerful influence in Tulsa’s economy. Surveys indicate that businesses with fewer than 50 employees account for 35.8 percent of all employment in the Tulsa MSA, and businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 48 percent of all employment. Typically, small businesses carry relatively low overhead. Their size enables them to respond quickly and creatively to challenges, and in times of economic recovery, they tend to stay ahead of their larger competitors in terms of hiring.

During the good times, lending institutions sometimes overlook small businesses and concentrate on making loans to large businesses with plenty of collateral. Fortunately, Tulsa banks are becoming more sensitive to the needs of their smaller customers.

Information recently released from the Federal Reserve indicates that commercial and industrial loans in the Tulsa area increased to $713.8 million during the fiscal year ending in July 1999, up 27.2 percent ($152.6 million) from last fiscal year. This compares favorably to a 7.8 percent increase nationwide. Approximately 69.6 percent of those loans were collateralized. Clearly, local bankers are recognizing the profit potential in companies that once looked in vain for commercial funding sources.

Small Business Loans Granted By Commercial Banks
Percent Increase FY98-FY99
Source: Federal Reserve

Tulsa MSA 27.2%
US 7.8%

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