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.
“Give it to me. Don’t give it to somebody else to then hopefully, maybe, get it to me,” said Freeman, who would prefer to get the money in the form of tax credits, or some other more direct assistance. “Give it to me in the form of beer bottles with the name of my business on it, but give it to me. This loan stuff is ridiculous, because I don’t know if I could ever get one.”
Brian Miller, the president and COO of The Entrepreneur’s Source – a Southbury, Connecticut-based facilitator of startup financing – said the new legislation will only work if the government is able to get it into the hands of small business owners quickly.
“If it does not and we’re faced with the same kind of situation that we were with TARP, where the banks just sit on the money and they don’t get it in the hands of people that need it, then it’s going to be a colossal failure,” said Miller, who added his company is currently hearing from 10,000 people a month inquiring about financing, about a 25-percent increase from pre-recessionary levels.