Finally, Credit Where Credit Is Due

After years of ignoring women business owners, banks and other lenders are beckoning

Marlene Waldock had no idea that getting a small-business bank loan would be so "simple and painless." But that's what she discovered last month when it took Fleet Bank just under an hour to approve her $20,000 loan. Waldock, like most other women entrepreneurs, had avoided applying for bank loans. "I thought the process was too long and difficult," she says. For the past 13 years, she depended instead on her credit cards to finance 1st Impression Communications, her Roseland (N.J.) marketing and communications company. "But this time," says Waldock, "I needed flexibility to grow my business that I couldn't get with credit cards."

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