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Small Business Lending Fundamentals

Course Overview

The goal of Small Business Lending Fundamentals is to provide participants with the skills needed to work effectively and profitably with small business customers and prospects by giving them:

  • A better understanding of the role that small business customers play in the business strategy of the bank.
  • An understanding of basic business, financial, and credit concepts, and their importance to the approval process.
  • An increased ability to identify the needs of the prospect and qualify them for a bank loan product.
  • Increased confidence and credibility in communicating with customers, prospects, and bank commercial loan/credit staff.



15 hours


Instructor-Led Online

Program Level







Who Will Benefit?

The primary target audience for this course is bank personnel who:

  • Function as contact persons for small business customers outside of the commercial loan division.
  • Have received little or no previous (or recent) training in commercial credit.
  • Have limited commercial credit authority—if any.
  • Need increased knowledge of business, industry and basic commercial credit concepts and processes.

This audience may include Branch Managers and Assistant Managers, Retail Personal Bankers, Customer Service Representatives, and Business Development Officers


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify basic business organizational structures and concepts important to small business customers.
  • Understand the business of small business banking, including keys to success and inherent risks.
  • Provide an initial assessment of the suitability of a prospect for their bank’s credit portfolio using an understanding of typical industry risks, customer interviews, and available financial information. Course Profile: Small Business Lending Fundamentals
  • Identify a customer’s or prospect’s credit and noncredit needs and match the bank’s products and services to those needs.
  • Communicate more effectively with customers and prospects in order to ensure that credit applications are complete, provide key information about recognized credit risks, and increase the likelihood of a credit or product sale.
  • Demonstrate increased confidence and a proactive attitude that leads to more effective and focused calls on small businesses.


The course is divided into a combination of casework, analysis, and review of general loan structuring principles. Participants complete case study activities requiring them to review and apply concepts presented in the course’s reference materials. The Reference Guide provides detailed explanations of loan structuring principles and supports both in-class learning activities and on-the-job application of skills learned. This course actively involves participants by including large and small group activities and questions to enhance the understanding of loan structuring. Participants learn by practice, which, in turn, increases retention. Learning by practice also facilitates their ability to apply the course’s content when they return to their jobs.

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