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From September 10-12, Riviera Finance sponsored and attended the annual conference of America's Small Business Development Centers, held at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, FL. Over 1,000 directors and counselors of SBDCs from around the US and other countries attended the event for the purpose of gathering and sharing information to support small business. For more information on the conference and the ASBDC, click here.
For information on local Small Business Development Centers in your state, visit our SBDC page.
- 64% of larger companies are paying their bills in 60+ days (Wall Street Journal)
- Bill-paying is done at an average of 7.6 days overdue, up 14.1% over last year (Experian study)
The message is clear: the need for immediate working capital is stronger than ever, and Riviera Finance's factoring services are delivering positive results.
The Problem. The recession ushered in a policy shift among many large companies to slow their payment speed to their smaller creditors. This tactic has not abated despite the overall improvement of the economy. Larger companies learned that it's effective to stretch payment on invoices to 60 or 90 days or more, and their small-company associates simply capitulate because they lack the resources to fight.
A study conducted by the credit bureau Experian found: "...businesses earlier this spring were paying bills an average of 7.6 days past due, a 14.1% increase from the same period last year. The biggest companies in the study–those with more than 1,000 employees–had the sharpest year-over-year increase in late-payment days, up nearly 28%..."
The Solution. While small businesses may lack the resources to fight this trend, there are things they can do to thrive despite the challenge. One often untapped resource for small business is invoice factoring. Instead of waiting a growing period of 40 or 50 days or more get paid, by selling its invoices to Riviera Finance, a small business can access cash immediately. Factoring provides this quick cash without creating debt (it isn't a loan), and without the long and often futile process of applying with a bank. In fact, even business owners whose personal credit is less than sterling very often qualify.
Rivera Finance offers nonrecourse factoring, which provides a credit guarantee, meaning that our customers retain the cash advanced to them, even if Riviera Finance doesn't collect from its debtors. This helps our clients eliminate bad debt, and by tapping into our experience and credit database, they can choose their future customers more carefully and weed out the high-risk opportunities.
Riviera's credit services are so effective at eliminating high-risk companies from the equation, and our collection processes are so streamlined, that we buck the slow-payment trend reported by The Wall Street Journal. Our debtors pay us in about the same amount of time as they have in years past.
For the full Wall Street Journal article, click here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303296604577450561434496668.html
Or so it seems.
The news sounds great: 2011 was a record year for the SBA, which provided loans exceeding $30 billion to more than 60,000 small businesses. Even better is the news that over 1,200 lenders who had not made an SBA-guaranteed loan in the last four years returned to the SBA program in 2011. More money, more lenders, it all sounds great for would-be SBA customers.
So what’s the catch?
We’ll ignore the fact that many of these businesses turned to the SBA because they weren’t healthy enough to qualify for bank loans and other traditional forms of lending. Instead, let’s look what the SBA refers to as “small”. According to the SBA, “small” refers to any business that has fewer than 500 (yes, five hundred) employees. Using that metric, approximately 99% of all U.S.-based businesses are small. That’s like saying everyone under 500 pounds is skinny. The designation is useless to the truly small businesses out there.
The fastest-growing segment of small businesses is those that have fewer than 10 employees, with the 10-19 employee sector sitting in second place. These are the entrepreneurs, these are the truly small businesses upon whose success and existence our economy relies.
Riviera Finance continues to provide capital to this all-important group of small businesses. Riviera’s non-recourse invoice factoring programs give these often cash-strapped businesses access to immediate cash, while protecting them from loss. When Riviera buys an invoice from you, if one of your customers cannot pay for credit-related reasons, you still get to keep the money. No more worrying about slow-paying or deadbeat customers. Fast cash and peace of mind, two key ingredients in the success of any small or new business.
For more information on Riviera’s non-recourse factoring programs, visit www.rivierafinance.com
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.
National Small Business Week 2011, May 15-21, will be highlighted with events at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. Over 100 small business owners from around the country will be honored for their involvement in disaster recovery, government contracting, and entrepreneurial development. An impressive group of high-ranking government and corporate representatives will be speaking at the event.
For the complete story, including President Obama's proclamation, click here.
Riviera Finance applauds all efforts to support and recognize the small business community, which continues to provide the fuel for our economy. Riviera Finance has provided financing for growing companies throughout North America since 1969 with non-recourse factoring.
AOL Small Business reports that SCORE is relaunching its website with new tools to assist in the launch and growth of small businesses. According to the report, "the nonprofit mentorship organization has relaunched its website to be more client focused and provide entrepreneurs with a way to network with other small businesses..." Read complete story here.
We applaud SCORE and other entities that support small businesses in the critical early stages of growth, when conventional services and financial solutions are scarce. Riviera Finance has provided early-stage accounts receivable financing for 42 years.
If there's one lesson to be learned from the past several years of dire economic predicitions, and real-world economic hardships, it's that the spirit of entrepreneurship will not be long-thwarted!
Among the ongoing reports of a still-uncertain economy, small business optimism continues to grow, recently cresting at levels not seen since prior to the recession. An article in The Atlantic quickly highlights the findings of the National Federation of Independent Business.
In the coming months, Riviera Finance will look to partner with these pioneering entrepreneurs by fulfilling their cash flow needs so that their businesses can grow in pace with their optimism.
For the full article, click here: The Atlantic
Choosing the very best of the nearly 1000 Small Business Development Centers can't be easy, but the staff at Inc. magazine is up to the task.
In a recent article, Inc. highlights the success stories of the Top 10 Most Helpful SBDCs in the U.S. Ancillary to that are in-depth articles exploring the unique approaches ten SBDC offices have taken to assist the members of their local small business community, such as the focus on improving cash flow employed by the Vancouver, Washington SBDC office.
According to the latest reports, federal funding to the SBA (Small Business Administration) is slated to be cut nearly in half, and as a result, SBDCs nationwide will rely more than ever on the strength and efficiency of their relationships with their local/regional resources. Alternative lending providers, such as accounts receiveable factors, will stand ready to assist the SBDCs' efforts in providing help to new and growing businesses.
Read the full article here: America's 10 Most Helpful SBDCs
More good news for the economy, and for entrepreneurs in particular. For the fifth month in a row, lending to small businesses grew. As Ann Saphir of Crain's noted, the 20% jump in lending was the largest month-to-month gain in five years, and dovetailed with a decline in delinquencies to pre-recession levels projects to continued strengthening and growth of the small business sector.
With businesses regaining confidence to expand, and banks (on the heels of the delinquency dip) softening on their lending standards, the prospects for a burgeoning economy are gaining traction. In support of this groundswell, alternative lending solutions such as accounts receivable financing, will remain a vital factor in this encouraging upswing.
For more details, read the full article here.