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My question: Is 7% really the best business loan rate these days, or is my bank trying to rip me off?
Remember prime rate is the rate banks lend to giant companies with vast resources. In business school we were taught this was "the rate banks give their best customers" which annoys me as a small business. I am like you, I have a super high credit rating, have never missed a payment, business has grown every single year and yet I have not fallen into this elusive "best customer" category where I get the loan at prime.
I doubt as a small business you will get less than prime unless it is some type of promo the bank is running, which they don't seem to be running much of these days with the credit crunch and all. However it probably wouldn't hurt to negotiate a little harder and see if they won't shave a bit more off that rate for you.