Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lehman Bros. And Your Small Business

There is a certain feeling entrepreneurs have about growth: "You are either moving forward and growing your business, or you're moving closer to extinction."
This country has been the beneficiary of this thought process. Small business, for the past 20 years, has been the economic engine of this country, continually adding employment. Access to capital has been the driving force for this growth.
This is why the news on Wall Street of the collapse of Lehman Bros. is distressing. Borrowing money will become harder for smaller firms. Right now, local bankers are saying all the right things. "Money is available," ""If you have a good deal, we'll make it." We'll see how that all holds up. You certainly can't blame the banks for being more cautious.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones who cannot get a bank to say yes, it's time to look at other sources of capital. Sources such as angel investors, nonbank lenders and factors may all help capitalize your business. They all have their ups and downs and different costs, but they can still help you grow your business. Even bartering can help entrepreneurs pay for goods and services. State and local governments also have funding programs that help alleviate some of the bank's risk.
Access to capital might tighten, but there are still sources of capital available for entrepreneurs.


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