Investing in small business

first_img 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Small Business Administration defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees. In Maine, where I live, more than 95 percent of employers fit the bill. Since the Great Recession, small businesses nationwide have been responsible for the majority of new job creation, spurring economic growth. Small businesses across Maine (and the rest of the country) are just beginning to come out of hibernation. And it’s important that they receive the support they need to thrive and expand.Since the economic turbulence that first hit at the end of 2007, businesses of all sizes have been slow to hire and make capital expenditures—even in a low interest rate environment. But that trend is starting to reverse. According to the SBA, small business indicators are improving, with lower bankruptcy levels, net employment gains, rising proprietors’ income, and an interest in capital investments. In Maine, we’re seeing business loans for vehicles, equipment and renovations.This might seem ironic, given that signs point to a rate lift-off later this month. However, small businesses tend to be conservative. So an uptick in borrowing now is a positive sign that, like the Fed, business owners are seeing more favorable market conditions.With small businesses representing the lion’s share of Maine’s economy (with similar patterns across the country), credit unions must do everything we can to encourage this growth. Very small businesses in particular—restaurants, garages, cleaning businesses—can benefit from developing a relationship with their credit unions and vice versa. They might not be immediate loan candidates, but think of it as an investment in the future. continue reading »last_img