Once a week, PointBlank will deliver a roundup of small business news and advice from around the nation.
A Look At Small Business Finance In New York
Though New York City’s business reputation has put some distance between itself and the rest of the nation, New York as a state is a surprisingly good microcosm of American business.
You have your industrial areas in the north, side-by-side with your small, rural towns. You have a collection of big-time cities like Buffalo, Albany and of course, NYC. And there’s everything in between.
That’s why I’m using the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s recent report as sort of part and parcel of national small business finance trends. It’s worth breaking down in greater detail—check back in with us in the next few days for that—but I wanted to talk a little bit about how sales trends broke down in the first quarter compared to 2010.
According to the report, roughly 42 percent of small businesses said their sales increased in 2010, compared to 37.7 percent in Q1 2011. The biggest change between the two years is the number of those businesses who have seen their sales stabilize, which is up to 28 percent in 2011. The percentage of those who saw a decrease in sales decreased by 6 percent. What that tells me is that while it’s been hard for small businesses to find growth on top of 2010’s slow rise, they’ve been able to sustain their numbers.
Very interesting stuff. Things aren’t necessarily getting visibly better for many small businesses, but for once they’re not getting worse, either.
The SBA Ain’t From Around Here, But They’ve Got Aid
The federal Small Business Administration is ramping up its offerings to rural areas nationwide, effectively doubling its aid over the next five years.
That’s good news, as is the President’s announcement in Iowa today that he’ll be creating a rural small jobs council. The bad news is that the aid amounts to only $350 million, which is a lot of cash right up until you spread it across the entire nation.
The best parts of the effort may be its low-cost, separate components, such as training for job-seekers and incentives for small-town hospitals to recruit new doctors. I’m a fan of anything that encourages hiring, because that may be the number one obstacle to quality economic growth.
If you’re living in rural areas anywhere, though, you need to see if you can take advantage of this. Go to the SBA site today to find out.
Five Small Business Apps
Five small business apps you really shouldn’t live without. That’s the tagline from a recent BizEngine post,
Other Useful Links
Please suggest your own links in the comments! Thanks for reading.
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT