Middle-market and small businesses are changing their growth strategies as they move forward with plans to ramp up expansion over the next five years, according to SunTrust Banks Inc.

The Atlanta-based bank’s (NYSE: STI) Business Pulse Survey reported 36 percent of middle-market companies with annual revenue of $10 million to $150 million are exploring mergers and acquisitions, up from 25 percent 2015.

Middle-market and small businesses are changing their growth strategies as they move forward with plans to ramp up expansion over the next five years, according to SunTrust Banks Inc.

The Atlanta-based bank’s (NYSE: STI) Business Pulse Survey reported 36 percent of middle-market companies with annual revenue of $10 million to $150 million are exploring mergers and acquisitions, up from 25 percent 2015.

Jeffery Mortimer, director of Investment Strategy for BNY Mellon Wealth Management (NYSE: BK) and the former chief investment officer of Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc., said even though 2014 was a good year in the M&A market, on a national level 2015 was much more mixed.

However he noted, middle-market M&A activity nationally saw a 14 percent volume drop in 2015, while the Southeast had a small increase in deal volume.