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Ami Kassar is a small business advocate and loan broker. Kassar is the founder and CEO of MultiFunding, a website for brokering loans to small businesses. Kassar is also a regular small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Inc. magazine and is regularly featured in the media and public conversations about small business issues such as entrepreneurship and access to capital.
Kassar is also known for his research on the small business lending market, in which he confronts and challenges some of the largest banks in America for their lending records to small businesses. Kassar concluded that smaller community-oriented banks hold a disproportionately large share of small business loan balances. His research led to the development of Banking Grades, an online tool that grades every US bank on their small business lending.
Kassar's criticisms of the big banks have been contested by representatives from the Financial Services Roundtable, as well as SBA Administrator Karen Mills. Mills references a commitment by the nation's 13 largest banks to increase small business lending by $20 billion, of which $11 billion in gains have already been made. Some small business bankers believe Kassar's characterization of the big banks is unfair. They point out the importance of exercising caution in making loans, to avoid repeating some of the risky lending that contributed to the recession. In addition, bankers cite a lack of demand for loans from creditworthy businesses.
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