Tag Archive for 'credit crisis'

Small business capital acquisition even when the credit market stinks

This isn’t my first rodeo. The current recession is my 7th one to work in since 1969. As I have noted several times in the past few months, the single greatest difference between this downturn and others is the collapse of the credit sector resulting in a steep reduction of credit availability to consumers and businesses. In every other economic crisis since the Great Depression, when consumers and businesses wanted to make a purchase requiring some level of credit, there has always been a healthy and motivated credit industry standing by to help put purchaser and seller together. Not this time.

And this challenge is no respecter of size: Pharmaceutical players no less than Pfizer and Wyeth had to cobble together transactions from five banks in order to finalize their merger.

Thankfully there are some bright spots for established small businesses. Independent community banks are still lending to small businesses that have, or want, a relationship with those institutions. Credit unions are still hanging in there and expanding their influence with businesses. But for the most part, consumer credit firms and the big banks are MIA.

Notice my qualification word “established” in the previous paragraph. In my 2009 predictions, I said that, unlike previous recessions, the current credit dearth will not be kind to small business start-ups, which historically have relied heavily on the founders’ personal credit lines, including home equity, to capitalize their new small business baby. Consequently – and sadly – start-ups will not play as large a part in this economic recovery as they have in others.

Also in my 2009 predictions, I said that the Obama administration would deploy part of its stimulus efforts through the Small Business Administration. The president should expand the influence of this well established channel to help small businesses acquire the capital they need through their local banks, and I think this will come to pass.

Recently on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, iBank founder and Brain Trust member, Tom Markel, (www.iBank.com)talked about the state of the credit landscape, plus his own proposal for what he thinks President Obama should do for small businesses in his first 100 days in office. Be sure to listen to the wisdom of this important voice on small business capital acquisition, including his multi-step small business stimulus proposal for President Obama. And don’t forget to leave a comment.

Blasingame’s 2009 Small Business Advocate Crystal Ball Predictions

Here are my 2009 Small Business Advocate Crystal Ball Predictions, which were first published in my free weekly Small Business Advocate Newsletter over the weekend, as well as in my newspaper syndication.

Prediction: Most financial damage in 2008 accrued to Wall Street and its stakeholders. In 2009, Main Street and small businesses will take the hit, especially in the first half.

Prediction: Economic recovery on Main Street will begin in the second half of 2009.

Prediction: Small business start-ups will be down because their initial capital comes from personal credit, which is now at unprecedented low levels.

Prediction: Small businesses that will have the most difficulty in 2009 will be retailers and sellers of big-ticket items that rely heavily on consumer credit.

Prediction: The Obama administration will produce a successful small business economic relief plan of loan guarantees and hiring tax credits.

Prediction: Independent community banks will thrive for two reasons: 1) They’re the lender-of-choice for small businesses that need local consideration; 2) Depositors will see them as more attractive than continually merging large banks.

Prediction: The Obama administration will continue the unprecedented government intervention in the economy, but positive impact will not occur until the second half of 2009.

Prediction: The Obama administration will shelve plans for the Employee Free Choice Act – designed to increase union organization – until 2010, when the economy will be recovering.

Prediction: Similarly, the Obama administration will shelve plans to pass a “cap-and-trade” bill – an attempt to regulate carbon – until 2010.

Prediction: The Obama administration will not recommend any tax increases.

Prediction: The Obama administration will justify moving forward with national healthcare reform in 2009, calling it part of economic recovery.

Prediction: The Obama administration’s attempt to create infrastructure jobs will fail.

Prediction: Comedian, Al Franken, will be the next Senator from Minnesota, leaving the Democrats one Senate Republican defector away from unfettered control of the government.

Prediction: With a justified concern for “stagflation,” the Fed will begin nudging interest rates up in Q4.

Prediction: Despite OPEC’s best efforts, oil prices will average below $65 per barrel, due to demand destruction.

Prediction: With their political leverage dependent upon petroleum revenue, 2009 will not be a good year for Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

Prediction: As the marketplace pays for the financial meltdown created by greed, corruption and incompetence, greater emphasis on transparency and accountability will be demanded by all stakeholders.

Prediction: Wall Street and the federal government created most of our current economic problems, but it will be Main Street small businesses that will lead the economy to recovery.

Final Prediction: In 2009 we will continue to live the Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

I talked about many of these predictions, and the reasons behind them, on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Take a few minutes to listen and of course, I would very much like to hear your thoughts.




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