If only they'd have extended the loan.
You’ve probably noticed the depressing frequency with which small businesses in your town have disappeared. Every so often, another storefront is suddenly empty, the windows papered over and dirt shadows on the walls where the old signs used to be.
Yes, my barber’s still packed on Saturday mornings, and an Italian deli in town just moved to a bigger store a block away, and even the local sporting-goods store is hanging in. But for each of those stories, there’s another business that’s already come and gone. And it’s clear that small businesses across the nation, a key to the economy, job growth and revival, remain pressured.
And, of course, that Italian deli moved into an abandoned storefront.
Incentives to spur small-business growth will be one of the “discussion forums” at this month’s “jobs summit,” the dog and pony show the White House is hosting to prove it’s committed to getting the nation’s unemployment rate down to a somewhat more incumbent-friendly level. (Here’s one “outside the box” idea, or maybe I should say, outside the beltway idea, for the summiteers: raise interest rates. That’s right, raise them.)
The big issue revolves around credit. On the one hand, banks don’t want to lend, certainly not with the drunken abandon they had before. But there also is less demand; businesses and consumers alike are cutting down debt, not taking on more of it. That is the heart of the problem.