As the presidential campaign season enters its final and most decisive chapter, small business has taken center stage. During their conventions, both parties repeatedly appealed to the concerns of American small business owners. A recent poll of small business owners conducted at George Washington University indicated that 47 percent of respondents intend to cast their vote for President Obama, while just 39 percent plan to vote for Mitt Romney. Read the full GWU Report GOP’s “We Built It” Day Salutes Business Owners At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, the party devoted a whole day to its “We Built It” theme, which celebrated the hard work and sacrifice of American business owners. Country music songwriter Lane Turner even penned a song, “I Built It,” in homage to Americans’ entrepreneurial work ethic: DNC Speakers Highlight SBA Small Business Loans, Small Business Tax Cuts At the Democratic National Convention, small business was once again a central focus. The owner of brewery in Virginia delivered a speech expressing his

Regardless of their industry or size, all businesses have one thing in common: the need to maintain a positive cash flow. This can be a big challenge, especially for seasonal businesses whose sales drop in the off-season. Even for businesses that are not seasonal, there are many costs that make it difficult to keep profit margins up. Whether it is maintaining facilities, repairing and replacing equipment, paying taxes, or keeping up with payroll, small business owners are constantly faced with expenses. When faced with such expenses, many business owners find that they need additional funds to pay these necessary costs while also keeping their businesses afloat. Bank loans are usually the first choice for entrepreneurs who need working capital. However, if the funds are needed immediately, the approval process for bank loans may take too long. Additionally, if a business owner has bad credit or other outstanding loans, it is likely that banks will no approve them for financing at all. Loan alternatives like merchant

Small Business Owners Struggle With Cash Flow Despite Increased Lending The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose 3 percent to 103.8 from 100.5 during July. The index had fallen during 5 of the previous 6 months. Despite this modest increase in the overall volume of small business loans, other metrics show that business owners who have received financing continue to struggle with cash flow issues. The number of delinquent accounts with loan payments at least 30 days overdue grew from 0.04 percent to 1.4 percent during July. While business growth remains tenuous across all industries, The Institute for Supply Management reports that activity in the manufacturing sector declined for its third straight month in August. Uncertainty about economic growth and the upcoming presidential election have prompted business owners to borrow less.

Banks Issued Fewer Small Business Loans Last Year Recent reports by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Small Business Adminstration show that small business lending has fallen significantly from 2011-2012. The number of business loans under $1,000,000 has dropped by 5% during the past year, SBA reports.  In a recent poll of small business owners conducted by the Federal Reserve, 60% of respondents reported that they did not apply for loans at all due to a lack of confidence. Many firms that were unable to obtain credit cited “issues such as insufficient collateral or low credit scores,” The Wall Street Journal reported. Read the full Federal Reserve Small Business Borrowers Poll. Alternative Financing Sources Help Business Owners Secure Working Capital While it is true that banks and traditional lenders are reluctant to grant loans to small businesses, especially if the business owners have a poor credit standing, there are alternative funding sources available to entrepreneurs who have had difficulty securing funding. Business cash

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