After the nation held its breath over the weekend, the Fed finally stepped up to aid the embattled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and while I am hoping this will shore up some of the uncertainty in the financial markets, as a small business owner, I am still plenty worried.
My ability to borrow cash to invest and grow my start-up storage business (The Box Butler) has never been more constrained. Even with this tremendous show of confidence by the Fed, my small business brethren and I do not have the resources to grow our companies which will ultimately be bad news for the US economy.
The US SBA has studied the effect small business have on job creation, and in 2002/2003, when the most recent statistics are available, businesses with less than 20 employees created 1.6M new jobs, four times as many as businesses with 20-499 employees. And if you look at big business, those with over 500 employees, the net loss was 150,000 jobs.
In the wake of the failure of Bear Stearns, the layoffs at all the major financial institutions and the continued threat of more bank failures well into 2008/2009, shouldn't we be looking at more solutions to stimulate the economy?
This is only magnified when one considers the aging demographics and the desire for many baby boomers to work from home and cut down on travel time and -- dare I say -- gasoline consumption. Where are these new opportunities to cut commuting time, brave new ways of working and open new opportunities going to come from -- well, according to the data I have read, it's entrepreneurs and small business owners who are themselves investing in the American dream. They are creating jobs, figuring out ways to leverage resources and providing the brain power and drive to fuel our growth.
While shoring up the US financial markets is critical, we have to be looking toward the future and what has worked in past, which means investing in ourselves. We must begin addressing ways to help the small business owner tap into available financial resources and while we need tougher lending criteria we cannot cut off the source of capital entirely, it will be the death blow to our economy and the future of America and all it stands for.