"Utah has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Small businesses are the backbone of our society, and we need to support them and generate capital to keep Utah going strong," said Mike Turner, senior vice president of business services at the $2.8 billion Mountain America in Salt Lake City.
According to the most recent statistics from the SBA, Utah had more than 230,000 small businesses in 2006 and from 2004 to 2005 created 86.5% of the state's new jobs. Mountain America has helped to fuel that growth providing loans to a variety of businesses from craft shops to mobile lighting companies, the CU said. It launched its SBA program in 2003 and since then, has commanded the top CU lender spot.
Mountain America's loan officers have found that it's a myth that successful entrepreneurs fit a particular type. However, those with flexibility, creativity, self-confidence and good problem-solving skills have staying power.
"There is no specific set of personal characteristics to guarantee success among business start-ups," the CU said. "It isn't just a matter of fitting a square peg into a square hole. Round pegs can still be successful. It takes all kinds."