Get Started: Survey finds businesses less happy with banks

By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG Markets Associated Press

BANKING SURVEY

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Small businesses are becoming more dissatisfied with their banks, and one reason why is that many financial institutions don't have a dedicated employee who works with them on their banking needs. That's the finding of a survey by research firm J.D. Power released last week.

The survey found that overall small business satisfaction with their banks fell to 790 on a scale of 1,000 from 797 in 2016. But the satisfaction level is 135 points higher among small businesses that have been assigned an account manager and don't have to navigate the bank and its services on their own.

Just over half the owners questioned said they had been assigned an account manager.

The survey questioned nearly 8,400 small business owners or executives who use banking services. It was conducted from June to August.

FINDING SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS

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Small business owners needing help in the basics of starting and running a company can get it at free or low-cost workshops or courses offered across the country. Workshops are online as well as in-person.

Small Business Development Centers, many of them located at colleges or universities, offer a wide range of courses. For example, the SBDC in Boulder, Colorado, has courses including marketing, startup essentials, using social media, using accounting software, taxes and business planning. SBDCs are sponsored by the Small Business Administration; you can find one on the SBA website, www.sba.gov , or look online for the SBDC in your area.

SCORE, which offers free counseling to small businesses, has online workshops. You can find them at www.score.org .

Community colleges, chambers of commerce, libraries, industry groups and other organizations also offer courses. You can find them through an online search.

The IRS website includes a page where small businesses can locate workshops, meetings and seminars in their states. Visit http://bit.ly/2zThZiF .

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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenberg