|The Financial Bailout: What It Means For the Future of Your Business|
|Written by Shawna Ruppert|
Many average Americans, including small business owners, are waiting and wondering what kind of an effect the financial bailout plan will have on them. As a matter of fact, most are unsure what the bailout actually means. Obviously, they are struggling through this economic crisis just like everyone else. All they want to know is what all of this means to the future of their business.
Before we can look at how the plan will affect them, we need to take a look at the situation they find themselves in now. First of all, most small business owners are quite frustrated that this bailout is even necessary since it is not their fault that they are in this mess. Unfortunately, even when the problems originate at the top, everyone eventually feels the pinch. It’s the old trickle-down effect. And, of course, the problem comes down to credit.
Credit is something that small businesses need to grow and be successful. When the banks are in trouble, this means that it’s harder to get credit. When credit is not available, these businesses cannot invest in growing their companies, which limits their ability to pay off loans. It’s not hard to see how this cycle can get out of control; creating the very situation that we find ourselves in today. This problem also negatively affects small businesses on the other end. When they can’t get credit themselves, it limits their ability to extend credit to their own customers. This results in reduced sales, which hurts their business even more. Another problem small businesses are having right now is the amount of layoffs and lost jobs resulting from the economic crisis. This problem could get much worse with the troubles that the major automakers are having at this point in time; especially if an individual’s business depends upon orders of parts or services from these automakers.
Small business owners should also definitely rethink any major purchases that they have the option to wait on; especially if it is a large ticket purchase that will require more money than can actually be afforded. Spending more than what is coming in can definitely cause a business to go under much more quickly than one that keeps a close eye on its budget. And, budgeting carefully during these times of economic uncertainty can certainly help a business owner stay afloat and hopefully ride out this economic storm.
Truthfully, at this point, many are unsure whether this bailout plan will help or hurt the small business owner. There are many factors that come into play. Some say it could make available more loanable funds, allowing business owners to have access to credit again. However, in some cases, this would only be enough for them to stay in business instead of actually allowing them to seek loans to expand their operation. Others look at it as a way of rescuing Wall Street only. They say it will not help small business owners at all. At this point, it’s too early to know what will happen.
Flow of funds
The hope is that major lending organizations will end up having more funds available to loan. This, in turn, will stimulate businesses and individuals to start borrowing again. They will then be able to use these funds to expand their businesses and purchase things like new space and higher standards of equipment. The government is hoping that this increased flow of funds will give lenders and borrowers more confidence in the economic system. The problem right now is that no one knows when, or if, this will actually take place. It may be months before anyone begins to see, or feel, the difference. In the mean time, the fear is that things could get much worse before they start getting better.
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