why First Financial is right for you – the small business edition
Products designed to work in pace with your goals
More than five million new businesses started across the U.S. in 2022, and a sizeable chunk of them are here in the Midwest. The state of Ohio alone recorded the second-highest number of new business filings in its history in 2022: 179,636.1, 2
Most of the owners behind these ventures borrowed money, and that is something to consider. The average small business loan was $663,000. Yet the percentage of small businesses that received the full sum for which they applied has shrunk by 30% from 2020 to 2021 (most recent data).3
Where you go to finance your cash flow, equipment and growth can decide your company’s success. Small business owners and startups should consider some key factors when choosing a bank, including its commitment to your community, how deeply its team understands your industry, and its ability to flex to your needs – even as those needs unfold.
We've been in small business for 160 years
First Financial started out as a small business itself, way back in 1863, in Hamilton, Ohio . Today, we are a greater Midwest financial institution, but we’ve retained our community touch. Our dedicated team of small business bankers specializes in a range of region-specific sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing and even temporary staffing. And because our specialists live in the neighborhoods they serve across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois, there’s a good chance one is your regular customer.
We continuously use the feedback and experiences of our small business clients to guide new product development, so that regardless of your situation, we have something to help get you to your next stage.
Specialized small-business products for your changing needs
Reaching that next stage can be challenging, because for small companies, few days are “business as usual.” We’re innovating so you can spend less time dealing with finance demands and focus more time on steering your business toward its desired goal.
Among our products for start-ups and small companies:
Business lines of credit
Revolving line of credit – This line of financing remains available even as you pay it off, ensuring easy access to money to cover expected and unexpected necessities. That means you won’t have to think twice about accepting big, unplanned orders.
BizFlex line of credit – For businesses seeking up to $100,000 with few restrictions, our unsecured BizFlex line provides access to cash – no strings – for up to five years. It’s ideal for covering start-up costs, seasonal essentials, and (when the time is right) expansions.
Loans that are just your size
Small Business Administration Guaranteed Loan Program – First Financial is a participant of the Preferred Lending Program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which means we have an SBA team on hand to pull together project-specific lending options for you, with lower down payments and longer terms. These loans are guaranteed in part by the U.S. government.
Microloans – The diversity of our regional startups reflect our community’s strength. We partner with nonprofit organizations to issue microloans for startups, small business development, and entrepreneurial education. Students who graduated from small business development programs may be eligible for $10,000. Learn more here.
Expandable financing tools
Equipment financing – Whether you need a new crop harvester or a larger mixing tank, we can offer same-day approval on qualified applications of as much as $250,000. There are no upfront costs, and repayment schedules can extend for up to 84 months (seven years).
f1RSTNAVIGATOR – We supply everyday tools for small business clients, including f1RSTNAVIGATOR Online Banking, a dashboard that houses all your business financials, as well as oversees wire transfers and manages risk. As a complement, we offer f1RSTNAVIGATOR Reporting, a digital service that tracks and analyzes your transactions and balances, and can export data into shareable formats.
There are millions of small businesses, and each one matters
We are proud to be part of our local communities and supporting local small businesses is a key part of that. We’ve gotten this far thanks to the support of our community. We know how many years one handshake can last.
Small business banking requires the same degree of expertise as big-business banking. Our small business specialists can work with you to build a plan that anticipates curveballs, and grows at your pace, to help ensure you are always in control.