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Killeen ranked fifth in a nationwide top 25 list of cities for availability of commercial loans.
The list, released by Financial Funding LLC, placed Killeen behind San Antonio, ranked first; El Paso, ranked second; Fort Collins, Colo., ranked third, and Austin, ranked fourth.
According to a news release from the company, the list was based on statistics gathered by Financial Funding through June.
While not having seen the study, Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce President John Crutchfield said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Killeen area ranked high on the list.
“If you look around we have a plethora of commercial lending institutions here,” he said. “We have had a number of branches of banks come to the community in the last six to eight years, and they are all aggressive people and competition causes you to improve your product.”
Like with many products, competing financial institutions will strive to offer the best product to succeed and when there are a lot of those institutions, that competition gets pretty good for the end user, Crutchfield said.
Other cities larger
The other Texas cities in the top five are larger than Killeen, but the city is used to having a well-established rank in similar surveys.
“We generally have the fourth or fifth best (metropolitan statistical area) economy in the state,” Crutchfield said.
The release didn’t give criteria on how the New York firm assigned the ranking but it said the city’s proximity to Fort Hood contributed to its commercial lending ability.
“A nearby military base means lots of defense jobs here, plus the resulting income for local businesses,” the release stated.
Crutchfield said the increased banking institutions mean there is small-business opportunity for the community.
“It really means one thing is that those commercial lenders see opportunity here,” he said. “If they didn’t see opportunity, they wouldn’t compete in the market.”
As the economy starts to revive, that will mean starting new businesses, Financial Funding stated in the release. Having commercial loans available to these same startups allows them to survive their first few precarious years in operation.