Money to lend, but no takers

For almost two years politicians on both sides of the aisle have been saying that one of the big problems with the economy is that small businesses can’t get loans from banks. For that same period I’ve asked small business owners - and independent community bankers - on my radio program why more loans aren’t being made, and their answers have been consistent: Small banks have money to lend, but small business owners are not asking for loans.

Since the Obama Administration’s most recent attempt to tweak economic recovery is about making more money available to small banks so they will make more small business loans, last week we asked our small business Newsletter subscribers and website visitors what they thought about this. More than 80% said they either could borrow money from a bank if they needed it, or wouldn’t borrow money from a bank even if it were easier. Only 16% said getting a loan would help them now.

Sadly, we continue to see how disconnected many of the political class are from the real concerns of the sector that produces over half of the U.S. GDP and employs over half of all American workers. Small business owners aren’t going to take risks - which is what getting a business loan is all about - as long as they’re uncertain about the future: the future of taxes, the future of health care expense, the future of energy costs, the future of union influence, etc., etc.

Mr. President, if you really want to know what small businesses need, you should do what I do - ask them.

Thank you for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio, and on the Internet.

To participate in next week’s poll question, visit and vote.

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