Our weekly roundup of small business news and advice follows. Enjoy!
U.S. Small Business Borrowing Up
Earlier this week, we talked about how an increasing number of small businesses don’t think they can or will get access to financing and lending in 2011. I outlined in the earlier article why that might be—small business owners don’t exactly have a wealth of reasons to believe in banks after the last couple of years—but there’s more than one report indicating that the perception is erroneous.
Take this Reuters story about the “surge” in small business borrowing in April. It’s up 17 percent from a year ago in all, and that marks the ninth straight double digit rise, according to the company that put together this information. That’s actually pretty striking, giving how many businesses believe they can’t get access.
File this one under good news, but it’s clear that the media and lenders have a lot of work to do if they’re going to turn the prevailing perception around.
Caring Is Good For Business
It’s a short post and it may be less newsy than some, but I thought it was worth calling your collective attentions to Seth Godin’s Blog on the topic of caring in the workplace.
One of the things I believe most strongly about the world we operate in is what Godin brings forward in his first couple of paragraphs, when he talks about how organizations are incapable of caring, but people are very capable of doing so. You obviously want caring people in your organization, where they can nurture relationships with customers, drive business and generally be a positive force on behalf of your company.
How to do that? Simple, Godin writes. Get out of the way. If you build an organization that regulates too much of what your employees do, they will stop caring and stop acting like they care. Let them go as free as possible and you’ll reap the benefits. Surprisingly simple, yet effective.
A Small Business Committe In Kansas City
I’ve long thought that while the federal government and local communities do what they can for small businesses, they could certainly do more. So I always love to see a new initiative being born.
One of those is in Kansas City, Missouri, where the city has set up its first small business committee. Basically, the committee is designed to help businesses cut through the bureaucratic red tape that usually comes with starting up a business, making the city more business-friendly and making the hassle more endurable for businesses. It’s being seen as a win-win, and I’d have to agree with that assessment.
It will be interesting to see if more businesses do come in to Kansas City as a result of the committee.