Bank of America (BAC) has hired more than 30 bankers in the greater Chicago area as part of a broader plan to beef up its services for small-business owners.

The small-business bankers will meet with customers across Chicago "to understand every aspect of their cash flow needs,"in an effort to provide better products and services, Jay Miller, Bank of America's small-business banking executive for the central region, said in a news release on Tuesday.

The Charlotte company previously announced that it would hire 1,000 small-business bankers nationwide and has already added dozens of employees in Washington, Georgia and California, among other states.

There are more than a million small businesses in Illinois, representing about 98% of all employers, according to a 2011 U.S. Small Business Administration report. Bank of America said that it has made loans totaling more than $292 million, including $115.2 million in new originations, to small businesses in Illinois in the first half of this year.

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