As the small business sector is so vital to the health of our economy, there is no shortage of business news regarding efforts to pump life back into this economic engine. For this post, we have decided to highlight all the key stories and developments in the SMB sector – from the good, bad to the ugly. Read on and feel free to share your comments and insights.
Stimulus Relief Extended for SBA Loans
The Senate voted this weekend to temporarily extend funding for two popular stimulus provisions that reduced fees and boosted guarantees on Small Business Administration-guaranteed loans. The provisions, which helped bolster small-business lending over the past year, had run out of funding in late November. With the new extension, included in the Defense Appropriations bill, the government's maximum guarantee on SBA loans is restored to 90%, compared to pre-stimulus levels of 75%. Fees that the agency normally changes banks are also waived. Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.
Small-Business Bankruptcies Rise 81% in California
The Obama administration's new plan to give a boost to small businesses reflects continued trouble in that sector, which is facing new failures even as much of the nation's economy is stabilizing. As credit lines have shrunk and consumers have cut back on spending, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors over the last year. The plight of struggling firms has been aggravated by the reluctance of banks to lend money, said Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration's office of advocacy. Read the full Los Angeles Times article here.
Obama to Meet with Small and Community Bankers
President Barack Obama will discuss the economy, lending to small businesses and financial regulation when he sits down at the White House with representatives of a dozen small and community banks. Obama scheduled Tuesday's session as a follow-up to a similar meeting he held last week with some of the nation's top bankers. Read the full AP story here.
Small Business Lessons From a Serial Entrepreneur
It is always inspirational to see stories about serial entrepreneurs who have lived through all of the successes and failures. Check out this “Biz Beat” blog post from the Atlanta Journal Constitution on serial entrepreneur Hank Datelle.