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Press Release

Small business understanding of online alternative loan products-focus group findings (Fed webinar)

Free webinar: Federal Reserve researchers discuss the findings from their small business alternative lending focus groups on 9/29 at 3 pm ET

The online alternative lending industry holds promise for expanding access to credit for small businesses. But it also poses potential risks, as the small-dollar credit products offered by alternative lenders can be considerably more expensive than traditional credit. To gauge small-business owners' perceptions and understanding of online alternative lenders and their product offerings, two Federal Reserve researchers conducted online focus groups with "Mom and Pop" businesses in a range of industries from across the United States.

On Tuesday, September 29, from 3:00-4:00 pm ET, the researchers -- Barbara Lipman of the Federal Reserve Board and Ann Marie Wiersch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland -- will discuss their findings during a free Connecting Communities webinar. Click here to sign up.

You can also access their recent report, Alternative Lending through the Eyes of "Mom & Pop" Small-Business Owners: Findings from Online Focus Groups.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892