December 16th, 2009Thriving small businesses still struggling to get loans
Washington (CNN) — Andy Shallal’s small business is a rare success in a sea of hard-luck stories.
The owner of several popular bookstore cafes, called “Busboys and Poets” in the Washington area, Shallal said his annual revenue tops $14 million.
But the success hasn’t persuaded his bank to give him the loan he wants to expand two of his stores and add 40 employees. Shallal said the only way his bank would lend him money was if he used his home as collateral.
“I want to have a loan that’s really a business loan that’s going to use my business as collateral,” Shallal told CNN. “And I was told no, in these economic times it’s very difficult for banks to give money this way.”
Small-business owners across the country have voiced similar frustrations, complaining that — despite billions of taxpayer dollars in relief funds and exhortations from lawmakers to help Main Street — banks are still holding back on loans.
President Obama will tackle the issue Monday when he meets with bank leaders to discuss upcoming financial regulatory reform. He is expected to push banks to increase small-business lending, along with a host of other reforms to the industry.
But industry analysts say the liquidity problem won’t be easily solved. One small-business expert said stricter government regulations have pulled banks in two directions.
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