Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

SBA Will Answer Questions About Credit Crunch Online January 15: Podcast of EP Interview Available at End of Article

Posted by Hopeton on January 13, 2009

By Hopeton Hay

On January 15 the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Web chat series starts the new year with “How Small Businesses Can Deal with the Credit Crunch.”  This Web chat features SBA Associate Administrator for Capital Access Eric Zarnikow who will help small business owners and entrepreneurs get answers to their questions about credit and borrowing and other resources to help them access credit from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Participants can join the live Web chat by going online to www.sba.gov , and clicking “Online Business Chat.” Web chat participants may post questions for Zarnikow before the January 15th chat by visiting http://app1.sba.gov/livemeeting/jan09/index.cfm, and posting their questions online.

Eric Zarnikow

Eric Zarnikow

“Its really an opportunity for them to ask questions and get advice on what they might want to do to access credit during the capital crunch,” says Zarnikow.

The Web chat addressing the credit crunch could not come at a more propitous time. There was a record decline in the number of SBA loans between fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2008.

“What we saw is the loans for the last fiscal year were down about 30 percent in numbers but only about 13 percent in the dollar amount,” explains Zarnikow.

While banks have tightened their credit standards, Zarnikow says the feedback received from banks indicates there are other factors affecting loan volume.  Because of the recession entrepreneurs are less willing to take on debt to either expand or start or acquire a small business.  Zarnikow says also that banks reported that borrowers generally are less credit worthy than they might have been a year ago.

“The small business may not be doing as well or their personal financial situation might not be as strong,” says Zarnikow.

Zarnikow recommends the following strategies for small business owners to improve their chances of obtaining an SBA loan.

  1. Make sure you have a well thought out business plan
  2. Talk to as many lenders as possible,
  3. Talk to other small businesses about what lender they may use and get a referral or recommendation if possible

To listen to the 8 minute Economic Perspectives interview with Zarnikow click here.

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