Helping Small Businesses

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business and chairman of Liberty Bell bank, Cherry Hill, NJ discusses the Obama administration's new plan to help free up credit for small businesses. And Tasha Norman, president of the NYC chapter of the National Association of Women in Business, explains the needs of local women-and-minority owned businesses. Small Business Owners: What's the one thing the Obama administration could do to help you right now? Comment below!


William Dunkelberg and Tasha Norman

Comments [11]

James B from NYC

The costs imposed on small business, (& big business), indeed ALL of us by the the insanely complicated tax systems of federal, state & local governments is a real impediment to economic prosperity & efficent allocation of resources. Perhaps we can have a Congressional inquiry to investigate these costs & the prospects for revenue-neutral simplification. Charlie Rangel, Tom Daschle & Timothy Geitner can head up the witness list.

Mar. 17 2009 10:47 AM
Leo from Queens


I am not a friend of these greedy landlords, but you can't put pressure on landlords to lower or keep rents at last year's levels when most of the costs are rising at astronomical rates.
The City has more than doubled the RE tax rates in 6 years and Water and Sewage rates have gone up at least 100% EVEN after measures have been taken to conserve. - This is a backdoor tax from the City and these are pressure on property owners that cannot be absorved indefinitely by landlords

Mar. 17 2009 10:42 AM
Sarah from NYC

Probably, given what people are saying, the stimulus package is really just another way to help the banks, wrapped up in a package which *sounds* like it's geared to helping main street.

Mar. 17 2009 10:42 AM
Caroline from Manhattan

This is slightly off topic but I am an employee of a very small company that is cash-strapped. The employees haven't been paid in weeks (we all work on salary) and they pay we have received has been 50%. My colleagues and I have done a lot of research but we can't figure out our rights. But I don't think we can get unemployment because we haven't been 'fired'. Does any small business owner have any advice?

Mar. 17 2009 10:42 AM
Kathy from NYC and Berkeley CA

I recently got a call from American Express, where I've had a Platinum Business card with the extended payment option. I've been a loyal customer for over 20 years, always paid on time. They all of a sudden said they were revoking the extended payment option, even though I've been current with all payments. They could not give me a reason. They claim to be in the corner of small business, especially with loans, but I am seriously considering withdrawing my support and canceling my account if I cannot depend on them.

Mar. 17 2009 10:41 AM

At the risk of sounding reductive, I think it's clear that the most important thing that Obama can do to help small businesses is to get the credit situation in the US under control.

This involves a variety of Herculean tasks, among them NOT continuing to bail out what are clearly rogue companies, such as AIG and Goldman Sachs at the expense of future US economic development.

The reality is that small businesses cannot survive in a toxic environment. Besides TARP I and II, we have doled out nearly 200 billion dollars to AIG, an entity that did not have the foresight to close out the contracts of counterparties such as Goldman Sachs and Deustche Bank at a discount, and yes, you are seeing the ripples of that failure throughout the general economy, which is poisonous for small business in the short and long term.

If small business can overcome this, it may be the only thing to pull us out - clearly many of the big corporations are now too involved in looting the treasury to play a role in recovery.

Mar. 17 2009 10:39 AM
cat from brooklyn/washington dc

My mom owns a small business that does b/t 1.5 and 2 million a year. She's had the buiz since the year 2000. Regardless of the strength of the economy and a credit score of over 700, she's never been able to get a loan of ANY size, unless she was willing to use her home as a guarantee. She thought the purpose of an SBA loan was to get a loan to start or grow a buisness w/out personal assets? Are all these people getting loans by putting their own assests on the line or what?

Mar. 17 2009 10:36 AM
susy from manhattan

Oh-- yes, and I second the Health Ins cost issue. My health care cost is over $400 a month.

Mar. 17 2009 10:35 AM
John Lobell from Manhattan

My business involves 3 corporations. That's $4,500 for my accountant for tax preparation, and $900 for the city tax, and that's before taxes for any profits. What government can do is eliminate the city $300 tax, and institute a Hong Kong-like tax form the size of a postcard that can be filled out in 5 minutes.

Mar. 17 2009 10:35 AM
susy from manhattan

I own a small business. It is entirely self-financed with no loans, from banks, family or anyone else. And that is how I'd like to keep it.

What I'd like to see is some tax and fee relief here in NY. Just to open an LLC in NYC, it costs $1500. If you open in Albany, it's more like $500.

There's also the 'self employment tax'....don't even get me started on that one.

As a *very* small business, a loan from a bank is the last thing I want, and it's the last thing I'm thinking about right now.

Mar. 17 2009 10:34 AM
Janet Shapiro from Montclair, NJ

Affordable health insurance!

Mar. 17 2009 10:33 AM

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