Tag Archive for 'small business loans'

The small business response to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech

In President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union speech he identified a number of issues that he apparently believed would appeal to Main Street small business owners. Alas, for the most part, his list merely revealed how out of touch he is with the challenges America’s small firms are facing today. Here are two of those points followed by my explanation of why the president needs better advisors when it comes to talking with small business owners.

$30 billion for community banks to loan to small business: On its face, this sound great, but as I have reported for almost two years, community banks don’t have a cash-for-loans problem; they have plenty of cash already and don’t want money - or the associated hassle - from the government. Nor do independent banks need more incentive to make small business loans. The overarching small business credit problem is not supply, but rather, demand. The condition of the economy is resulting in very little loan demand by small businesses. Wise up, Mr. President.

Eliminate capital gains for small business: It wouldn’t take a long conversation with any small business owner to discover that capital gains tax is their absolute least challenge as it virtually NEVER comes into play in the operation of their business, and any jobs creation as a result would be impossible to measure. In the list of the top 20 things that wake a small business owner up at night, capital gains tax wouldn’t appear. Mr. President, this is embarrassing.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked in greater detail about these and other issues in my small business response to President Obama’s state of the union speech. Take a few minutes to listen and let me know your thoughts on Obama’s plan for helping small businesses. Listen Live! Download, Too!

January 2010 Tatum survey of small business conditions

As we embark on a new year, with most of us very happy to see the last one in our rear view mirrors, what is the economic mood on Main Street?  Are recession-rattled small businesses that survived to open their doors January 1, 2010 rearing to take on the new year or are they still licking their wounds? Recently, Sam Norwood joined me on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show to report on the January 2010 Tatum survey of small business conditions, including sales, capital investment, capital acquisition and costs, hiring trends and other indicators. The good news is that all of Tatum’s arrows are green and pointing upward. Good news for small businesses!

Sam is Senior Partner with Tatum, LLC, and an important member of my Brain Trust. Take a few minutes to listen as Sam and I discuss not only what the Tatum survey revealed, but also how it compared to other surveys I cover and what you and I are seeing out here where the rubber meets the road.  And, as always, leave your thoughts on the direction you think the economic recovery is taking. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Jim Blasingame’s 2010 crystal ball predictions

This year marks the 10th year of my Small Business Advocate Crystal Ball predictions. For the first nine years, my accuracy percentage has averaged 70%, including 13 for 16 in 2009. Take a look and see what you think about how I will do in 2010.

2010 Prediction: The fragile economic recovery will continue at a marathon pace with steady annual GDP growth of between 2% and 3%.

2010 Prediction: Surviving small businesses will have fewer competitors due to recession casualties and fewer start-ups.

2010 Prediction: Big business layoffs in 2008-09 will produce small business opportunity in two ways: less competition for customers and outsourced business from the big guys.

2010 Prediction: Reversing the 2009 trend, growing small business loan demand will signal Main Street recovery.

2010 Prediction: Improved balance sheets and TARP repayment won’t cause large banks to increase small business lending.

2010 Prediction: Community banks will continue to increase as the option-of-choice for small business growth capital.

2010 Prediction: The multifaceted challenges of the real estate triumvirate of housing, mortgages and commercial will continue to produce significant economic headwinds.

2010 Prediction: The second jobless recovery in a decade will result in unemployment above 9% at year-end.

2010 Prediction: Diminished consumer credit, combined with a new aversion to debt, will stunt economic growth.

2010 Prediction: U.S. stock markets ended 2009 flush due to earnings based on expense cuts, not revenue growth. This scenario will not repeat in 2010.

2010 Prediction: So called “health care reform” legislation will be signed into law along strict party lines.

2010 Prediction: Election-year realities will cause Democrats to forsake their leadership’s goals for pro-union and cap-and-trade legislation.

2010 Prediction: Republicans will increase seats in both houses without gaining control of either but will win a filibuster minority in the Senate.

2010 Prediction: The federal government will intervene to keep California out of bankruptcy. New York will follow.

2010 Prediction: Under pressure from within and without, a desperate Iranian government will take steps that disrupt geopolitics and global markets.

2010 Prediction: Recognizing the power of community building technologies and practices, small businesses will increasingly leverage these tools to find new competitive advantages.

2010 Prediction: With increased product information and user experiences available online, The Age of the Customer has begun. More customers will choose businesses offering online platforms that promote dialogue and deliver targeted information.

Finally, continue to expect a deliberate, marathon-like recovery.

I talked about these predictions in more detail recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Take a few minutes to listen and let me know what you think about my prophecies. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Small business banking in 2010

What will small business banking look like in 2010? independent community banker, Mike Menzies, joined me on The Small Business Advocate Show to talk about some of the key issues facing small businesses as they attempt to build better banking relationships in 2010.  Mike agrees with my 2010 prediction that the national banks will continue to be MIA in terms of small business lending. Mike also reported on some of the new financial regulations that are being proposed by Congress and how they will likely have a negative impact on his banks ability to serve small businesses.

Mike Menzies is President and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust in Easton, Maryland and an original member of my Brain Trust. Take a few minutes to listen to this interview and tell me about your recent banking experiences. Listen Live! Download, Too!

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