– John Krubski is an entrepreneur and the architect of The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners. He is currently working on his next book, “Cracking the America Code: How to Get US Back on Track”. –
As recently as April of this year, the Amex Open Survey announced that “For the first time since 2006, growth has surpassed survival as the number one priority for entrepreneurs… Perhaps further evidence that economic recovery is reaching Main Street, more than one-third (35 percent) plan to hire, the highest level since the fall 2008 survey.”
Just a few short months later, the headlines were filled with gloom and doom about the impending, “unprecedented” default of U. S. debt, followed quickly by predictions of a “double-dip” recession.
The truth is that, for America’s small business owners, the debt issue is an old tune, perhaps with a few new lyrics. We began as a debtor nation – dependent on a creditor country across the sea – and printed a currency without much prospect of making good on either its value or the debt incurred. In fact, the “continental dollar” printed during the Revolutionary War was worth one penny by the end of the war. Thousands of tradesmen and farmers were literally left holding the empty bag of the American government’s promises. Eventually, our national finances straightened out. However, until that time, the many small businesses that funded the Revolutionary War had to rely on themselves to figure out a viable route to survival.
More than two hundred years later, it’s still the same story for America’s entrepreneurs and owners of small enterprises. After the market crash of 2008, a key “national problem” was the availability of credit. As money for loans became more available, the problem then became “qualifying for loans.” However, as many small business owners know, the only way to get money from banks is to prove in the application process that you don’t need it in the first place.