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Psst! Need Funding?

(April 2011) posted on Tue Feb 22, 2011

A few suggestions for the average, financially strapped print provider.

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By Mark E. Battersby

The recession ended, at least according to many experts, during the summer of 2009. Just three months after it reportedly ended, however, Timothy F. Geithner, secretary of the US Treasury, made the announcement: “This credit crunch is not over.”

But with all available capital apparently going to big business and government, what can the average, financially strapped print provider do?

Well, now might be a good time to form a relationship with a small bank in your neighborhood if you haven’t already done so. Get to know the president and loan officers. Ask if they intend to participate in the new financing available to small banks. And, most importantly, find out how they underwrite small business loans and whether your business is a candidate.

Fortunately, there are a few bright spots among the clouds, including last fall’s Small Business Jobs Act, which created the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and funded it with $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support lending to small businesses. These funds were designed to spur up to $15 billion in lending, and January 2011 saw the first wave of awards to the states.

Under the SSBCI, participating states will use the federal funds for programs to leverage private lending to help finance small businesses such as print providers that are credit-worthy but are not getting the loans they need to expand and create jobs.

The SSBCI will allow states to build on successful models for state small-business programs, including collateral support programs, capital access programs (CAP), and loan-guarantee programs. Existing and new state programs are eligible for support under the SSBCI.

More funds from Uncle Sam
Last year’s Jobs Act included other provisions as well, all designed to help small businesses obtain funding. Among that bill’s many provisions are several new funding programs such as: