In my opinion the first and most important issue affecting our economy is jobs which is directly related to the inability of our financial institutions to lend. In turn this affects nearly every business, whether small or large by adversely affecting the sale of its products which ultimately results in employee layoffs.
Every day that goes by banks raise their lending standards while less and less businesses, as well as individuals continue to remain qualified. For banks to survive they must lend. Increasing fees and interest rates merely puts a band aid on the problem, which if not corrected you can expect to see many close their doors for good.
Instead of providing banks with massive amounts of “stimulus” money the government needs to create a program whereby it lends directly to small and midsize businesses utilizing financial institutions as administrators only.
The application procedure should be rather easy, uncomplicated and the loan amount based on financial forecasts combined with the number of new employees to be hired.
We often forget that small business are responsible for a major portion of all the new jobs created and with access to capital often wind up becoming big businesses.
I believe the Small Business Administration (SBA) should provide free counseling service along with classes to all would be entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business or improving an existing business.