How Grameen Bank is about barn raising, and other observations

screen_cap“When Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank, his innovation was not so much the idea of lending small sums of money to poor villagers in Bangladesh; it was the idea of lending to small groups of women who could help each other make the best use of the loans and ensure repayment. The community was the big idea.”

So says Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo.

The concept of providing capital that helps communities grow is not new to BusinessUS. Please reach out if a small business or organization in your community needs a boost.

 

Small Business Loans: hot… or not?

arrowsThe media is hungry for clues about the direction of the American economy. And as we know, small business is a key engine of this economy, providing 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970’s, as well as 54% of all US sales.

Here are a few positive snippets from recent news:

U.S. small business optimism jumped in December to its highest level in more than eight years, the latest sign of strength in the economy even as dark clouds settle over global growth….The outlook was further bolstered by other data on Tuesday showing job openings approached a 14-year high in November.

But perhaps these headlines grabbed you:

So 2014, on the whole, seems to have been a good year for small businesses seeking capital from banks to grow…..But if you look at the numbers another way, you’d see that this increase is only telling part of the story. It’s a story of success mainly for small businesses seeking big money from big banks.

U.S. small-business lending never quite regained the ground lost during the Great Recession, ceding significant market share to larger firms that have benefited from a gradual but lengthy economic recovery, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland finds.

Seems to be a mixed bag… so here’s some clarity. Big banks are stepping up to the plate for small business after almost 6 years of kicking them to the curb. But only in larger amounts. No surprise here: big banks make big loans to make big profits.

Where small business lending is growing is sub $150,000 loans, which many new online lenders are happy to provide – at massively high rates.

What’s still missing in the picture is the traditional meat-and-potatoes of the small business lending picture: community banks lending to small businesses in their communities.

Says Carly Fiorina in Inc. Magazine: “Unlocking capital is very important, and of course since the financial crisis, the surviving big banks have gotten bigger, but the community banking system is really struggling, and that means small businesses are struggling. It is community banks that provide most of the capital to small business, and [we need to] start unlocking small business loans again. We have got to get capital to them so they can form and thrive.”

If you want to learn more about small business loans, contact BusinessUS

SBA Extends Fee Waivers for Veterans and Small Loans

Logo_SBAThe U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it would extend 2 important fee waivers until Sept. 30, 2015. SBA will continue to waive the 2% Borrower Fee (also called upfront guaranty fees) for loans under $150,000 and for Veterans Advantage loans from $150,000 to $350,000.

SBA is also halving the rate of the upfront guaranty fee for non-SBA Express loans of $150,000 to $5 million.

The fee waivers were originally scheduled to end Sept. 30, 2014.

Certain restrictions apply to SBA loans. If you have questions, please contact Stephanie Bitters at BusinessUS.

16 Hot Startups that Launched in 2014

Logo_Business_InsiderBusiness Insider has issued its Best Startups of 2014 List, and it’s worth the read.

As should be expected from a media source whose CEO is Henry Blodgett, there’s a whole lotta technology on the list, analyzed by factors like

  • funding
  • revenue
  • growth, and
  • investor interest.

Here’s the article:

Here’s the list:

  1. glamsquad-brings-hair-salon-quality-blowouts-to-your-apartmentGLAMSQUAD brings hair salon-quality blowouts to your apartment.
  2. Spring is the Instagram for shopping.
  3. DWNLD makes apps easy to make, customize and get published in the App Store
  4. Ello is the ad-free, anti-Facebook social network.

  5. Curbside lets you order stuff on your phone and pick it up at the store without leaving your car.

  6. Reserve takes all the pain out of making restaurant reservations.

  7. Shyp sends your packages for you, so you never have to step foot in the post office
  8. Jet.com is Marc Lore’s mysterious “Amazon-killer” e-commerce website.
  9. More …

~ For more information about using an SBA Loan as part of your startup capital, please contact Norris Lozano at BusinessUS

Washington DC may assist more small businesses in the New Year

image_from_bitly_13U3V75“Small businesses are looking for government to function and get a lot more done,” said John Arensmeyer, chief executive officer of the advocacy group Small Business Majority.

A few of the options on the table in this upcoming Congress are:

  1. Reduction in corporate tax rate from the current 35%
  2. Small Business tax deductions
  3. Bonus depreciation
  4. Reduction in paperwork for SBA loans.

“It’s expected to encourage more banks, particularly smaller ones, to make SBA-backed loans, said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.”

Read the full article here.

~ Learn more about small business loans by contacting Norris Lozano at www.Bizbank.US

“8,000 small business loans are declined every day by banks”

Time well spent: Have a look and listen to this impactful talk2014_10_28_Screen_Cap_video_Connie_Evans with Connie Evans, President & CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity in Washington DC, hosted by Bob Coleman of the Coleman Report.

Ms. Evans gives an impressive array of facts about the benefits of micro-lending (loans of up to $50,000) and micro-capital (up to $250,000) to small businesses of up to 5 employees.

Among others, she says that such businesses are declined for loans by banks at a rate of 8,000 declines per day.

8,000. Declines. Per. Day.

The opportunity to serve these underserved small business borrowers is profound.

~ Norris Lozano, CEO, BusinessUS, a California-based small business lender

What’s new in small business? Optimism(!)

1405572185-goldman_what_is_working

 

 

And now, a headline that wants to brighten your day, “Here’s a Round-Up of Small Business Surveys That’ll Cheer You Up

Lots of good topical research here into the mood of small business owners around the country. For example:

  • “…80 percent of the small businesses they polled grew their revenue in the past year and 90 percent forecast a revenue growth in 2015” (says the Accounting service Xero)
  • “…optimism is at a two-year high and 58 percent of those firms planned workforce increases” (says Vistage)
  • “…77 percent of small business owners feel they are “successful” and a majority of them believe that they have access to capital if they need

Are you a California small business needing a loan? Try BusinessUS

 

What makes a small business “small”?

Logo_SBAWe are asked all the time “What defines a small business?” and “Why does it matter?”

Many would answer that small businesses are anchors of a community, creating jobs and opportunity in cities and towns across America.

According to the SBA, “The two most widely used standards to qualify a business as small are 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.5 million in average annual receipts for many non-manufacturing industries.”

And to the second question, only a qualifying small business is able to provide certain services to the SBA, and qualifies for certain financing programs from the SBA. These include SBA 7(a) loans, the most common and popular small business loans which are provided by traditional bank, community bank and non-bank lenders, and up to 85% of which are guaranteed by the SBA.

Learn more about SBA loan programs here.

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

Lozano congratulates Spirit of Small Business Award winners

spirit-sample-graphic_cropThe 2014 Spirit of Small Business Award winners for the Los Angeles District Office were announced today. The event is co-sponsored by the SBA.

Along with the team at BusinessUS, I would like to congratulate the winners for their success and their positive impacts on their communities. This year’s winners are:

East Ventura County – Agnew Multilingual

West Ventura County – Staples Construction Co.

South Santa Barbara County – The French Press

North Santa Barbara County – Old Town Market

San Luis Obispo County – The Wallace Group

Minority-Owned Business – Alliance Wealth Strategies

Women-Owned Business – Ohana Pet Hospital

Exporter of the Year – Zesto Audio

Green Business – AB Design Studio

Well done!

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

7 Stages of Small Business Success

Phoenix_Business_Journal

 

Clate Mask, a guest blogger to the Phoenix Business Journal, has written a well-researched set of articles (there are 2, both linked here) outlining the 7 stages of small business success. The articles are full of good data and interesting insights – – take a few minutes:

7 Stages of Small Business Success – Part 1, (Stages 1-3)

7 Stages of Small Business Success, Part 2, (Stages 4-7)

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender based in Woodland Hills, CA

He’s Back: Al Gore, “The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate”

gore-600-1403097332Al Gore is back with an even stronger message on climate change and a low-carbon economy necessity. His article in Rolling Stone is detailed, stark, and ultimatelty, optimistic:

“Is there enough time? Yes. Damage has been done, and the period of consequences will continue for some time to come, but there is still time to avoid the catastrophes that most threaten our future. Each of the trends described above – in technology, business, economics and politics – represents a break from the past. Taken together, they add up to genuine and realistic hope that we are finally putting ourselves on a path to solve the climate crisis.”

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

Programming expert Chris Serra joins BusinessUS technology team

DeathtoStock_Wired2PRESS RELEASE: “We are extremely fortunate to have a programmer of Chris Serra’s stature join our technology team,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS. “Chris’ deep knowledge and 16 years’ experience in solving complex technology issues will help us develop the best-in-class technology platform we need to compete.”

Read the full release here

Pavlik ranked 5th on AVP, in today’s final round at St. Petersburg Open

Pavlik_at_St_Petersburg_Open_2014Check out Whitney Pavlik’s AVP page: http://www.avp.com/player/whitney-pavlik – currently ranked 5th by the AVP!

Our photogenic superstar is featured by CBS: http://www.avp.com/news/watch-the-avp-st-petersburg-open-finals-live-on-cbs-sports-network

The team of Pavlik and Jennifer Forma is seeded 3rd at the St. Petersburg Open on the AVP Tour.

Final round today!

Here’s the rankings: http://www.avp.com/stats/st-petersburg-open-14-w

Good luck today Whitney!!

 

(Posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS)

Norris Lozano and Stephanie Bitters at NAGGL Technical Conference this week

NL-SB-tandem-shotBusinessUS (www.bizbank.us) is well represented at the annual SBA Lending Technical Conference hosted by the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), as the firm’s CEO Norris Lozano, and 27-year SBA veteran Stephanie Bitters, its Managing Director of SBA Lending & Chief Credit Officer, have arrived in Bonita Springs, Florida.

The BusinessUS executives arrive from a week of meetings on Washington and New York.

Read the FULL RELEASE