Entrepreneurs Uncensored: Save Our Businesses

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Why are small business owners– the job creators, community leaders, and innovative thinkers of America, often ignored and left to fend for themselves? We hear political speeches about how important the entrepreneurial spirit and small businesses are to our country, but the resources on the ground too often fail to back up those claims.

As many entrepreneurs are struggling to keep their doors open, we must listen to their concerns. Only by listening to these concerns will we actually begin to provide the resources needed to build strong businesses and create new jobs for our communities.

Where is the help? Small business owners in America are speaking out. Here are the challenges they face on a daily basis…

There’s no help unless you can prove sales are 3x that of a loan. “My store is located in a so called federal disaster area by the SBA since the main mall across the street from me burned down. They told me I could qualify for a loan since area traffic has been significantly reduced. I did everything they told me to do, only to learn they believe I would not have the sales to pay back the loan. I said no fooling, traffic has been reduced from the fire, and you offered me the loan. It is silly. But besides the SBA there really is no help unless you can prove that sales are almost 3 times that of a loan. Which is hard to do since people are holding their money because they are unsure where our economy is going.” -Jonathan Nowling, Rock Hill Lavender

You can’t have credit because you don’t have credit.
“Im a sole proprietor so my personal credit is my business credit, so to speak. I have worked very hard to clean up my credit rating. I have one thing left on the report that I will pay off this month. Can I get credit at all? No. Why? I have no clue, other than ‘I have no credit.’ Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? You can’t have credit because you don’t have credit. I can’t even get overdraft protection on my business checking account. My car died over 6 months ago. I’ve tried to get financing for a used car and can’t. Although car dealerships tell me they can get me into a new car with payments over $450 a month. I need a car for my business. I’m a PC tech for gosh sakes! But I’m being responsible in saying I’m not comfortable with new car payments at $450 per month. If an invoice doesn’t get paid by one of my customers, I’m screwed! You attempt to be responsible and they try to over-extend you and isn’t that what got the economy where we are today? All this hype about the banks willing to help you is bull. At least this small business – and I mean really small business – doesn’t see it.” -Debbie Mahler, Internet Tech Specialists

Qualified customers have to jump through hoops to find funds. “We are a small home building business located in Northern Va. Despite the relative stability we have had over the past few years, and stable land prices inside the beltway it is still a problem to secure financing for our customers. Our qualified and pre-qualified customers are having to jump through more and more hoops in order to find the funds they need to build. Further, banks are not just asking for their customers’ financial information they are asking for our information as well. I see banks lending less, and making it harder and harder for average Americans to secure the financing they need and are qualified for to build and/or buy housing. I think the government should help establish standards by which banks that they bailed out or own a share of can lend money. I mean actually make sure that funding is coming out of the institutions that are receiving government money, because it does not seem to be trickling down as was intended.” -Andrew Moore, Arlington Designer Homes

Health care costs continue to soar.
“Federal loans are slightly more available perhaps than they used to be but health care costs continue to soar. Business people struggle to survive but government workers don’t even understand the concept of struggle. Small businesses are not comfortable places to be right now. Working for the government has always been comfortable — we need to make it less so. The size of governments at all levels needs to be drastically cut. Here in Austin, they’re firing teachers and keeping administrators. Yet the administrators wouldn’t be there if not to support the red tape of failed government programs. Administration should be cut and teachers kept. It’s all backwards.” -Curt Finch, Journyx

There is too much uncertainty regarding future tax rates.
“One of the biggest obstacles among small business owners is the federal debt and taxes. It’s not so much that we will have taxes–that’s part of life. But there is a lot of uncertainty regarding future tax rates once Washington makes the needed decision to eliminate the deficit. How much of that will be paid for in taxes? The critical issue here is the uncertainty. I’d rather know a number, even a bad number, instead of not knowing anything. It makes long-term planning more difficult since taxes play such a significant role on growth and profit.” -Dustin Puryear, Puryear IT LLC

Small business owners are financially exhausted.
“Small business are owned by people who aren’t collecting unemployment, don’t get paid vacation, rarely take sick days, pay both sides of their social security, don’t contribute nearly enough to retirement – and work far more than 40 hour weeks. If their businesses fail, there’s no generous package to tide them over provided by the employers – the owners are generally already in debt and have used up every asset of value in the companies (and sometimes, their personal assets as well). And, for many, it seems that every time they get close to making a break-through in growth or reinvestment, they are hit by new costs, increases in fees, etc. Many of these truly small business owners want to create jobs – but are not benefitting from all of these programs and incentives that require credit, history – or collateral they don’t have to offer. Maybe we can find a way to minimize the stress on this group so their businesses have a chance to thrive.” -Stacy Robin, The Degania Group

Entrepreneurs in America have a lot to say about the lack of support available to them. It is time for the right people to listen to their concerns, and begin putting real action in place to help save small businesses across our nation. Every entrepreneur has a story. In order to make progress, we must put all problems on the table so we can begin to craft the right solutions.

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?
Share your story below…

Related Stories:
Is Help Available For Your Business?
False Hope: Is The SBA A Dead End?
10 Ways To Strengthen Small Business in America
Banker Reveals What It Takes To Get A Business Loan

2 Comments

  1. Posted April 13, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the inclusion in your article Tia. I am relieved to see I am not alone! It’s sad to see that small businesses are getting the short end of deal while big Corporations cut staff, get tax breaks and bailouts and yet we are the ones creating jobs! So, pathetic.

    But thanks for bringing this out in the open and letting us know that we’re not alone.

    Debbie

    • Posted April 13, 2011 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

      Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for your contribution to the article! I received so many stories just like yours, so you are definitely not alone. Stay strong along your entrepreneurial journey, it will get better! In the meantime, we’ll keep bringing attention to the issues until things start improving. Thanks again for tuning in.

      Be great!
      Tia

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