Reuters blog archive
This week Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills gave America’s top banks a pat on the back for boosting their lending to small businesses over the last 12 months, while separate data showed that funding for the most needy small businesses actually contracted.
In a blog posted on the SBA’s official website, Mills trumpeted that the U.S.’s top 13 biggest banks have increased loans to small businesses by a whopping $11 billion since last September as part of a commitment to boost lending by $20 billion by the end of 2014.
“The continued success of this commitment serves as an important example of what is possible when the public and private sectors work together to assist America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs,” Mills wrote.
While not disputing Mills’s arithmetic, small business funding expert Ami Kassar said the $11-billion figure “does not represent Main Street lending whatsoever.”
It’s Small Business Week, and here are a few links to help you know what's going on.
Inc. has a list of ten impressive attendees in D.C., and the New York Times has a post packed with useful Small Business Week links. At Entrpereneur.com, Victoria Tifft, the Small Business Administration 2012 National Small Business Person of the Year and founder of ClinicalRM, a medical device and vaccine research company, discusses the growth of her business.
Marc Bernstein’s response to reports of loan facilitators advising small business clients to avoid big banks: “It’s simply bad information.”
The head of Wells Fargo’s small business lending initiatives then pointed to the $3.7 billion the country’s fourth-largest bank (by total assets) lent to small firms over the first three months of the year – an increase of 27 percent over the first quarter of 2010.
-- Rachel Zippwald is the vice president of California Bank & Trust, a major SBA lender. The views expressed are her own. --
Small businesses seeking financing are in for a bit of good luck these days.
Special Small Business Administration incentives, such as the waiver of certain fees, are still available until the end of the year, so now is the time to apply for financing. There are, however, a few caveats.
As President Obama gets set to sign off on the $30-billion small business lending bill, people want to know one thing: how will it help me?
That's what small business owners like Bruce Freeman want to know. Freeman, who runs Proline Communications, a marketing and consulting business in New Jersey and writes a syndicated column "Ask The Small Business Professor", said the the $12 billion in tax breaks included in the bill will help, but the larger $30-billion portion earmarked for small community banks should instead be given directly to small businesses.
– George A. Cloutier is the founder and CEO of American Management Services and the author of the bestselling book “Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing”. The opinions expressed are his own. –
For the last two months we have been inundated with photos of oil-covered pelicans and other marine animals victimized by the oil spewing forth from the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill in the Gulf is obviously disastrous, but it pales to the economic "oil spill" that has destroyed small businesses over the last two years.
– George A. Cloutier, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is the founder and CEO of American Management Services, one of the nation’s largest turnaround and management services firms specializing in small and mid-sized companies. He is also the author of the bestselling book "Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing". The opinions expressed are his own. –
Certainly not the Obama Administration and Congress (both Democrats and Republicans) who have repeatedly failed small business at every opportunity with soaring rhetoric, empty promises, and adopting Lilliputian aid programs.
It appears the magic number for American small businesses is 10, as in the sudden urgency to help smaller companies after the U.S. unemployment rate jumped over 10 percent last month for the first time in a quarter century. After a year with Wall Street at the top of everyone's agenda, Main Street is now taking center stage.
Suddenly new lending programs are being announced, town halls are hastily being arranged and political heavyweights from across the financial and ideological spectrums are falling over themselves to propose their plans for how to get small businesses back on track and hiring.
from The Great Debate:
-- George A. Cloutier, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is the founder and CEO of American Management Services, one of the nation’s largest turnaround and management services firms specializing in small and mid-size companies. The opinions of George Cloutier are his own and do not represent those of the United States Conference of Mayors or Partner America. --
President Obama gets an “F” for his small business program. The SBA has guaranteed a paltry 50,000 loans to the nation’s 29 million small businesses – that’s .0017. Loan volume is down 36 percent from 2008 and 50 percent from 2007. Obama and his advisers have actually done the unimaginable; they have reduced the flow of aid to small businesses in the face of a deep recession. The program’s bank lenders have left $15 billion on the table due to “regulatory problems.” Even an administration plan to provide lending to 70,000 vehicle dealers has no takers and failed.
On the win side of the ledger, a new Intuit survey shows 44 percent of small businesses say they plan to hire in the next 12 months. The data is included in a San Francisco Chronicle story profiling a local Web startup - Airbnb.com - that is doing its part, having hired seven people since April, at a time when national unemployment has reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent.