February was a good month for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for loans at big banks with over $10 billion in assets. Data released today, Mar. 12, 2013, in the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, shows that the small business loan approval rating increased to 15.9 percent in February 2013, up from 15.3 percent in January. As for a year-over-year figure, the data indicates a 35 percent increase from last February.

Small banks also increased the percentage of small business loan requests approved. The rate climbed to 50.3 percent in February, up from 49.9 percent in January. This represents an increase from last year’s February figure of 47.6 percent.

“Smaller banks are making more and more loans through the SBA’s Small Loan Advantage Program, which range in amounts from $50,000 to $350,000 and require little collateral,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, who oversaw the research, in a prepared statement. “Big banks, including Sovereign and Citizens Bank, are also increasing their approvals of loans between $50,000 and $500,000. We have even seen an uptick by giants such as TD Bank and Bank of America. Small business lending is a profitable business. I’m surprised it has taken so long for some players to get back into the game.”