Small Businesses Closing Without Access to Credit (Warning: Entrepreneurial Heartbreak Stories)

by Erin McCune on February 23, 2009

in Credit Crisis, Current Events, Research Round Up

Erin McCune

Today at The Huffington Post Tim Berry shares the results of a survey conducted last week to explore the availability of business credit via bank loans, commercial credit, SBA loans, etc. The results are not surprising: there’s precious little credit available. We’ve been reading those headlines and statistics for weeks now. But what struck me about the post, and prompted me to share it, are the stories of businesses – solid small businesses – forced to close because they are without access to credit. Excerpts follow, you can read the full post and download the raw survey data here.

[Warning: read with caution, entrepreneurial heartbreak stories follow]

The 64-year-old owner of a 27-year-old business, with five employees, says the bank refused to acknowledge his $3 million recording studio as an asset. As a result:

I will be soon going out of business even though we have more to offer than ever before.  We are now in a vicious death spiral when $100,000 to $200,000 would or would have allow us to be wildly successful.

This one had 40 employees, but was rejected.

My company is out of business after 71 years because the bank was not willing to extend our financing because we lost money after a large expansion and business declined. We were going in a positive direction by making cuts and reducing overhead. We never missed a loan payment and paid increasing interest rates and penalties. In the end the bank made it so impossible for our company to do business.

From a woman whose company has 25 employees, but couldn’t get a loan for less than $50,000:

We have been in business for 30 years. We took out a $90,000 SBA loan a few years ago and it is paid down to $17,000. We now can’t get a loan.

I am heartsick.  My husband and I have been married for 44 years and have been homeowners for 43 years. It looks like we will have to face bankruptcy and foreclosure even though we have been offered a contract that needs 15,000 yards of concrete. It means we need to have a larger concrete plant but can not obtain funding for the plant.  We would need to hire several more employees.

I feel we have been set up for failure. We have always had excellent credit during the years.  Why can’t our government help us?  If we don’t get help we can’t provide jobs, and cannot provide medical insurance for ourselves or our employees. Many have children.  My husband had a heart attack and a 5 bypass. Will there be welfare, food stamps and medical care available for everyone?

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