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2006 Annual Report

Winning Over Small Businesses

CEO Linda Dorn-Carter and Treasurer LaToya S. Creighton of The Business Coach
CEO Linda Dorn-Carter and Treasurer LaToya S. Creighton of The Business Coach visit one of their clients, Trillionaire, a Los Angeles specialist in hip-hop-style shoes and accessories.

Business 24/7™ offers entrepreneurs the tools and attention they need to thrive.

Like most small business owners, Linda Dorn-Carter and LaToya Creighton knew that every minute buried in paperwork was time lost with customers and that could kill a dream. So the Torrance, Calif., entrepreneurs were quick to see the value when Bank of America introduced Business 24/7™, a suite of easy online tools.

"With free Online Banking service with BillPay™, I don't touch the same piece of paper two, three or four times," said Dorn-Carter. "You can't believe how much time that saves us." Online Invoicing is a similar time-saver.

Dorn-Carter and Creighton own The Business Coach, a five-employee firm that nurtures the growth of other fledgling companies.

Easy Online Payroll™ was another welcome solution for them. "Payroll can be daunting," said Creighton. "With Bank of America, we don't have the extra fees, and the bank makes it really easy to do." There was an added bonus: The Business Coach employees who chose direct deposit got free MyAccess Checking® with Bank of America.

Business 24/7 also provided them with easy access to credit through Business Credit Express™, a new service that enabled Bank of America to double the number of loans and lines of credit to small business owners in 2006.

In addition, Dorn-Carter and Creighton benefited from a professional relationship with Bank of America Small Business Specialist LaJonda Harris, who is a regular visitor to their offices. Harris feels accountable for being as knowledgeable about key facets of the business as the owners are. "Smaller companies don't have the infrastructure that large firms do," she said. "It's my job to help them think about what it's going to take to get where they need to be in, say, five years."

Dorn-Carter recalled a conversation with Harris about tactics The Business Coach was considering. "It helped us in the long run by her being blunt because we were spinning our wheels. If she hadn't stepped in, we'd still be headed down the same road," said Dorn-Carter.

Next: Serving Small Businesses Brings Big Opportunities
Mark J. Hogan, President, Small Business Banking
Mark J. Hogan, President, Small Business Banking
Serving Small Businesses Brings Big Opportunities Even as our economy becomes more global, it is increasingly driven by neighborhood enterprises — shops, home-based businesses and local wholesalers and manufacturers with $2.5 >>