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How SMBs are defying the odds: 3 questions with U.S. Bank’s Shruti Patel

  • Despite the challenges, small businesses are pressing on.
  • Shruti Patel, the CPO for the Business Banking Segment at U.S. Bank, shares insights on the latest trends in the SMB sector, whether conditions have improved, and ways in which FIs can strengthen their support for SMBs.

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How SMBs are defying the odds: 3 questions with U.S. Bank’s Shruti Patel

Back to basics: Banks refocus on small businesses for growth prospects.



 25% increase in median revenue over the past 18 months and are optimistic for the future. However, this doesn’t discount the fact that they still confront their fair share of challenges.

I had a discussion with Shruti Patel, the Chief Product Officer for the Business Banking Segment at U.S. Bank, regarding:

  • the latest trends in the SMB sector 
  • whether conditions have improved 
  • ways in which financial institutions can strengthen their support for SMBs

Before joining U.S. Bank, Patel served as the Director of Partnerships at Shopify, where she focused on building partnerships and engaging with software development.

What challenges are SMB owners facing today – have things turned for the better stepping into 2024? 

Shruti Patel: Last year, U.S. Bank conducted a nationwide survey of small business owners to study the complexities they are facing today. The small business owners identified their top stressors as obtaining enough funding to support their business (80%), supply chain issues (78%), needing to upskill their workforce (74%), staffing shortages (77%), and competitors in the marketplace (79%).

Small business owners wear a lot of hats to face these challenges and ensure their business runs smoothly. As a result, one of the greatest problems SMB owners face today is lack of time. Although 88% of small business owners said they feel personally fulfilled by their work, 83% felt stressed by their workload and lack of time to do everything they need. 

I believe digital solutions can play a huge role in addressing this dynamic. 82% of small business owners say that investing in digital solutions would reduce stress in their day-to-day life and 42% say digital solutions free up time, allowing them to focus on more strategic responsibilities. There is a need for financial institutions and other providers to help small business owners find innovative solutions through digital tools that can save them time and energy.

How are SMBs finding ways to keep moving forward?

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