Home Page > About Capital One > Investor Relations > National Small Business Week is April 25-29; New Capital One Survey Shows Many Americans Dream of Becoming Their Own Boss. Many Don't Know Where to Start.

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National Small Business Week is April 25-29; New Capital One Survey Shows Many Americans Dream of Becoming Their Own Boss. Many Don't Know Where to Start.

April 27, 2005 at 10:31 AM EDT

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2005--As the Small Business Administration kicks off the 2005 National Small Business Week on April 25, it's important to recognize that small business means big business in the United States. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that there are 23.7 million small businesses in America today - and that number is growing. According to a survey by leading small business lender Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF), an additional 61 percent of Americans dream of starting their own business. Yet when asked about the greatest hurdle they faced in fulfilling their dreams, 55 percent said that the biggest obstacle is finding the cash to fund their business.

"Small business owners need to know that there are a variety of funding resources available that they can use to make their dream come true - including Small Business Administration loans, bank loans and small business credit cards," said Rachel Roemke, Chicago Entrepreneurial Center.

Entrepreneurs have long turned to friends and family as sources for start-up capital and help with day-to-day financing, however, that option can be problematic. Experts say that understanding where and how to access other sources of short and long-term funding can hold the key to getting new small businesses off the ground...and keeping them running.

"No one works harder than the small business owner," said Pam Girardo, spokesperson for Capital One. "In addition to expertise in their specific trade, small business owners must also have competencies in human resources, business management and financing. Wearing all of these hats can be challenging and small business owners have told us that understanding the various financing options - and attaining them - can be particularly daunting."

In order to demystify the lending process and help small business owners prepare to apply for a business loan or credit card, Capital One offers insight into criteria financial institutions consider when making lending decisions, including:

  • Ability of the business to repay the loan out of its cash flow

  • Personal credit history and commercial credit history

  • Utilization of the loan

  • Banks need to see revenue to offset credit risk

  • Inactive loans are less likely to get increased credit lines

  • Does the business collect money in a timely manner from people who owe?

  • Profitability (historical and projected)

  • Sales trajectory

  • Industry outlook

  • Positioning against the competition

Capital One's small business group also provides tips for small business owners seeking financing:

  • Be aware of and manage both your business and personal credit

  • Get a credit report on both business and personal at least once a year (it's free)

  • Don't have too little or too much outstanding credit

  • Pay all of your bills on time, not just monthly loan payments

Girardo added that more information about small business lending is available from the Small Business section of Capital One's web site ( The site also includes links to the Capital One sponsored Better Business Bureaus BBBTips(TM) for small businesses, which provides practical tips and information to help entrepreneurs make the right financial choices to help make their dreams a reality.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B. and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc. offer a variety of consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 49.1 million accounts and $81.6 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2005. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and, through its subsidiaries, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index

Capital One offers a range of products to meet small business needs, including small business credit cards, small business loans and lines of credit, and small business savings accounts. As the largest issuer of small business Visa credit cards, and the third largest lender of SBA loans, Capital One provides specialized support designed to make it easier for small business customers to manage their finances so that they can focus on what's important to them. Capital One small business products are available via direct mail,, phone (877.561.9847) and fax.

CONTACT: Capital One
Pam Girardo, 703-720-2351
APCO Worldwide
Alison Athay, 206-239-0140

SOURCE: Capital One