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Tag >> small business
The economic recovery, such as it is, has been a big business experience for a while now, with small companies largely left out of the party.
And there's evidence that's still true.
Small business borrowing has been on an increase, something I wrote about recently. Fact is, however, the real heroes of small business lending over the past three tough years have been credit unions, which upped their lending, while bigger banks mostly pulled the plug on it.
Now there's about to be a bill in the Senate increasing the amount credit unions are allowed to lend to small businesses.
President Obama's Startup America Partnership, announced earlier this week, will benefit mostly one particular sector of the small business world.
Still it looks like the program has real legs.
Here we go again.
The disappointing number of jobs created in December has renewed calls for incentives to boost hiring by small companies. After all, goes the conventional wisdom, most new jobs are created by the puniest companies in our country, the backbone of the US economy.
Some good news in the area of small business borrowing.
Specifically it rose 17 percent in November to the highest level in more than two years, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. It was the ninth consecutive monthly increase. The Index measures loans, leases and credit lines given to small businesses.
Job growth has arrived. A number of companies are hiring again, including both small businesses and the largest corporations.
Trouble is, the data has not yet seeped into the government's reports, which politicians and policymakers eagerly seize and use to support their personal narrative.
We see all sorts of conflicting reports about whether the decrease in small business lending is caused by meager demand or stingy supply. But the research usually comes from different institutions.
Now it looks like people within the Federal Reserve are reporting divergent opinions.
Small business CFOs and finance executives are often stuck using retail online banking solutions to run their businesses and manage finance, as banks and solution vendors badly miss the mark in offering the functionality that companies of this size need. Such is the finding of a new report out by consultancy Celent.
The report says that current solutions for small businesses are often a mishmash of consumer products with bolted-on cash management features. Many of the systems on offer in this space have decades-old navigation and layout, and have a lot of catching up to do in order to come close to satisfying this unique group of customers.
The Obama administration and the SBA may have tried recently to loosen small business lending through new legislation. But a new study shows they have a long ways to go to reach small companies-or even to get them to understand what the SBA does.
A study from CIT Group, which surveyed more than 300 small business owners, found that around 50 percent of respondents didn't know what the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act was or how it might help their companies. The study was conducted before the bill was signed into law. Still, it's legislation you'd think small businesses would have noticed, since it does such things as eliminating borrowers' fees, raising the loan guarantee to 90 percent from 75 percent, and increasing loan limits. It also creates a $30 billion lending fund to community banks.
As portrayed by its opponents, the reinstatement of the estate tax could lead to the demise of small businesses across the country. "The estate tax falls hardest on those who maintain a family business, often forcing family business owners to sell the business in order to pay the tax," according to the website, www.nodeathtax.org.
The numbers tell a slightly different story. According to a 2009 report from the Congressional Budget Office, the 17,400 taxable estate tax returns filed in 2007 (for 2006), represented .7 percent of adult deaths that year. About 2.1 percent of farmers and 2.4 percent of small business owners who died in 2005 had to file estate tax returns, the CBO reports. Of those, almost all had sufficient liquid assets to pay the tax, particularly considering that heirs can spread payments over 15 years.
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