Question: What's the small-business-lending capital of the United States?

Answer: South Dakota.

Huh? With a whopping 1,452,737 loans on the books of its local banks, South Dakota is home to a million more small-business loans than second-place California, according to Veribanc, a Wakefield, Mass., company that provides "plain English" reports on the soundness of banks.

Hint: The credit-card balances of small companies are considered by banks to be small-business loans, and South Dakota is a favorite location for the back-office operations of banks.

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