Small Business Lending Turns South, But Good Options Remain
For a small business looking to the horizon, the news is either partly cloudy or partly sunny, depending on who you listen to.
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, traditional bank lending to small business is down over last year. According to the piece, "In the past six months, only 17% of loan-seeking businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue landed bank financing."
The banks themselves place blame at the feet of federal regulators. The banks are feeling the keen eye of the regulators looking over their shoulders, and many are claiming that they are denying loan requests they otherwise would have approved in order to please the federal guidelines. "'The main issue facing lenders,' Paul Merski (senior VP of the Independent Community Bankers of America) says, 'is that regulators are asking for proof that the loans will be repaid. That can be tricky with smaller, historically riskier businesses, particularly in an uncertain economy where property—often used as collateral for loans—keeps falling in value.'"
Read the full article here: Smaller Businesses Seeking Loans
The news isn't all bad, however. Former President Bill Clinton recently helped launch a microlending drive at his Clinton Global Initiate America conference in Chicago. Clinton's effort seeks to align struggling small businesses with a group of lenders who can provide them desperately needed funding. The initiative started as a series of BBQs and networking events held by bankers and local church leaders in Detroit, and has now gone nationwide thanks in part to Clinton's endorsement.
For more details on President Clinton's lending initiative, click here: President Clinton Reaches Out to Small Businesses
President Clinton is not the only one rallying to the aid of America's struggling entrepreneurs. As small businesses seek to stay afloat, invoice factoring will remain a valuable option at their disposal, helping the businesses quickly tap into their own invoices as a source of easy capital. Factors such as Riviera Finance are often able to assist even those businesses who are being turned away by banks and other traditional lenders.