The Big Deal About Small Business, Part 1

New Yorker_Resurgence-of-Small-BusinessThink big? Think again…

A January 24, 2015 article in the New Yorker exposes the advantage that small businesses have over their larger rivals, namely “true differentiation”.

“Most profoundly, the trend creates an industrial upheaval important to the long-term strength of the economy. It suggests an economy that is alive and reinventing itself, that is mutating from within, that is engaged in the never-ending process of creative destruction.”

BusinessUS supports the growth of small businesses by providing timely and affordable small business loans. If your small business has a true differentiation it wants to promote, contact Norris Lozano for information about new capital to get it done.

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SBA says: Small Businesses Create 2 Million Jobs

urlFrom an early January post from SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet: “Last week’s jobs report offered more evidence that our economy is gathering a head of steam as we ring in the New Year. Last month, American businesses added back 252,000 jobs and our unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since June 2008. We’re in the midst of 58 month of consecutive job growth – the longest streak on record since the mid-1990s.

Read the article here.

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of 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

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

For small business, a lot of lending is moving online

Logo_Harvard_Business_ReviewWe’ve read multiple stories recently (here are just a few one, two, three, four…) about small business lenders accomplishing astonishing numbers with online lending platforms. In our research we’re finding that this new money appears easy to get (the online applications and due diligence are relatively simple), but the price is steep (annualized interest rates of up to 70%).

Problem is, small businesses have fewer financing options now then in the last decade. Indeed, small businesses have suffered 3 ways when it comes to acquiring capital they need to grow. According to the Harvard Business Review:

  1. “A decades-long trend toward consolidation of banking assets into fewer institutions is eliminating a key source of capital for small firms….”
  2. “…collateral owned by small businesses lost value during the financial crisis, potentially making small business borrowers less creditworthy today…”
  3. “In the recent recession, small-business sales were hit hard and may still be soft, undermining their demand for loan capital…”
  4. “…. tightening on loan terms, including the Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey, for small businesses increased at double-digit rates during the recession and recovery, and have eased at just single-digit rates over the past several quarters. Loosening has been much slower and more tentative for small firms than for large firms…” (italics added)

Despite the low barriers to lending, these expensive online lenders are not a sustainable solution to small business borrowing needs. What’s often overlooked in this discussion of small business loans are SBA loans. SBA loans are available from banks and non-bank lenders to American small businesses that “can not get credit elsewhere” (small businesses that are underserved by traditional lenders) at competitive rates (about 6%) with an SBA guarantee.

~ 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

SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year

VBOC_logoBusinessUS would like to congratulate Veterans Business Outreach Center at Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL for it selection as the SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year.

Read a little bit about this outstanding organization’s commitment to our Veterans:

Taken from the Small Business Week program:

To get a sense of Brent Peacock’s commitment to helping veteran small business owners, take a look at the numbers. In 2013 Brent and his team at the Gulf Coast State College Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) provided small business counseling, training, finance and contracting assistance to 2,026 veterans. Of those, 174 were women 317 were service disabled veterans, and 112 were National Guard and reservists. Under Brent’s leadership since 2010, the VBOC has established an outstanding reputation for giving veterans the tools to capitalize on their already sharp skills, enabling them to build a foundation for successful entrepreneurship. Serving veterans in the Southern states, the Gulf Coast State College VBOC staff has assisted in securing nearly $6 million in capital investments for their veteran clients. Brent and the team have been instrumental in helping veteran small business owners acquire 31 prime contracts and 14 subcontracts totaling $274 million. Brent also took the lead in implementing the SBA/Syracuse University partnered “Boots to Business” entrepreneurship training program at various military installations for veterans transitioning back to civilian life and small business ownership. He also did numerous training workshops for V-WISE (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship), a program aimed at helping women veterans start and grow their businesses. Before becoming a business counselor, Brent taught broadcast journalism at Gulf Coast Community College and worked as a news anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition.”

 

Coingratulations, VBOC!

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender specializing in lending to underserved small businesses such as those owned by US Military Veterans.

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

Five Unwritten Laws of Business

haden-150x150Jeff Haden is a terrific business writer. Whip-smart, cogent, interesting… Would probably make an excellent dinner partner.

While we’re putting that event together, we thought we’d share some his good stuff.

Here are “5 Unwritten Laws of Business” as quoted in CEO.com

Here are excerpts, but you really should read the article!

1. The Law of Decreasing Personality: The bigger your balance sheet, the more likely you are to be a jerk.

2. The Policy Doctrine: The more employee policies you have, the less likely you are to treat employees fairly.

3. The Law of Diminishing Participation Returns: The more people who have input into a decision or design, the less valuable the outcome.

4. The Inverse Square Rule of Proximity: The less time you spend with your employees the more rapidly their engagement and performance falls off.

5. Eastwood’s Law of Silence: The people who say the most have the least to say.

~ Posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a small business lender based in Southern California

7 Powerful Business Women to Watch This Year

Women Rock Stars collage

“These seven innovators are having a major influence on technology, healthcare and the government. Their ideas are changing the ways we do business and are addressing broader issues of national security, gender bias, world poverty and the state of the startup community at large. We’ve got our eye on these powerful women. You should, too.”

Read the article here

~ Norris Lozano, BusinessUS

“This country was founded by risk-takers, resourceful pioneers who built this prosperous nation. Entrepreneurialism is in our heritage.”

mscMaria Contreas-Sweet was sworn in as SBA Administrator on Monday. Here are some quotes from her acceptance speech (hat-tip to Bob Coleman):

  • “The American Dream has always been about the opportunity to earn a good education and the keys to own your home. But the expanding American Dream is also about the opportunity to start your own business. I’ve lived that dream. And as the SBA Administrator, I’m determined to help others realize theirs as well.
  • SBA is a driving force that helps propel this economic activity. SBA provides access to capital, contracting opportunities, and consultation through a national network of partners, and of course, disaster relief loans.
  • Two out of three new jobs in America are created by small businesses. Millions of middle-class families are working for folks who depend on the SBA’s ability to facilitate access to capital, counseling and contracting opportunities. We must draw on technology to streamline the process of working with the SBA to make it easier for borrowers to access capital and easier for lenders to lend. The SBA must be nimble, agile to keep pace with our digital age.

Read more here:

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

 

Coleman weighs in on the downturn in lending to black business owners

colemanreportbannerlogo082013-2Nice clean summary of the Wall Street Journal article here.

If you recall, we wrote about this trend 6 months ago here.

At that time, I stated the following: “Where there are concerns across the industry about particular markets that are underserved by banks, we see a real opportunity. One of our primary goals is to help provide new capital resources to small businesses owned by minorities, women tribal groups and those located in underserved geographical locations.”

BusinessUS is missioned to provide 60% of our loan volume to underserved markets.

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS