Painful? Yes. End of the World? No.
As anyone in the midst of securing an SBA loan can tell you, by its very nature it’s kind of a painful process. That process just got a bit more difficult as the partisans in Washington decided to shut down the government. In the SBA alone, somewhere around 2,100 employees were furloughed, as that organization shut down operations. And yes, it puts every loan that wasn’t processed in shutdown limbo.
It makes no sense to me why Congress would chose to do something so obviously contrary to spurring on the sputter of an economic recovery as this. Shuttering the SBA is only one of the nonsensical consequences of what happened Monday night—although I think it’s particularly inane.
Granted (and thank goodness), the SBA isn’t the only vehicle for small business owners to find the funds they need to finance their businesses. Nevertheless, it’s an important source for many. Aside from the obvious consequences of the current example of reckless governmental brinkmanship, there are a couple of others specific to small business:
- Small business confidence: Already suffering from the effects of the recession, small business owners need to have confidence that any investment in their businesses is going to reap a positive return. As long as the government seems more anxious to get in the way of economic recovery instead of facilitating it, can you blame the millions of small business owners who opt to stay the course and wait to see what happens? The childish intransigence on both sides of the aisle is the worst I’ve seen over the course of the 40+ years I’ve been a voter.
- We’re really talking about jobs: Two out of very three new jobs created in this country are created in small business. What’s more, small business is responsible for half of all the jobs. On Main Street, business growth is typically funded with debt. Shutting off any source of capital when the smallest small businesses are already struggling to find the cash they need is not the way to create jobs and encourage economic growth. Think about that the next time your representative is up for re-election.
- I’m not going to get an SBA guaranteed loan, why does this matter to me:? Last year the SBA guaranteed a little over $30 billion dollars in loans to small business. Whether or not your turn to the SBA for a loan, that’s a lot of capital to shut off. Capital that needs to come from somewhere—and for the time being won’t be coming from SBA guaranteed loans.
Anything that negatively impacts the ability of small business owners to obtain the funding they need is detrimental to economic growth, job growth, and the long-term viability of the very businesses that sustain our local communities. Let’s hope our “representatives?” in Washington put an end to this nonsense soon.
In the mean time, there are alternatives to the SBA for small business loans. Shutting down the SBA may be painful, but it’s not the end of the world.