Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today, instead of writing a blog entry, I will fill this space with words from my father, Mr. Michael Mobley, who is in the business of financing small businesses in Howard County, Maryland. He sent this to me last night, and I could really care less whether anyone gets anything out of this, I am proud of the man who I consider to be my hero, my best friend and my mentor.

Without further ado...

The United States, and, indeed, the world, is in an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression that began 80 years ago. Venerable financial institutions have collapsed, the automotive industry is confronting bankruptcy and unemployment is approaching 10 percent. The Federal government has committed, as of this writing, nearly $800 billion to jump-start the economy. Most economists and politicians seem to agree that the government must take some action, but, both economically and politically, there is disagreement as to the viability of this stimulus package and its ultimate impact.

Unfortunately, it appears that the status of small business in this crisis has been virtually ignored. As these firms struggle to stay afloat, it is not clear what, if any impact the economic stimulus package will have on small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this environment, and as always, “Cash is King” for businesses large and small. Consequently, access to capital is a major determinant of the success to any business.

As large banks struggle to recover from major losses, they have tightened their credit criteria and, in many cases, are only making loans to those in the top tier of credit-worthiness. Small business owners have painfully discovered that these large banks are not as receptive to their requests for loans and lines of credit as in past times. Smaller, community banks, however, are active in the market, albeit with more restrictive credit criteria. Still, small businesses often face gaps in their ability to finance their ideas and activities.

Since 1992, j-ref has provided financing to entrepreneurs that were unable to obtain all or part of the capital required for their businesses. The mission of j-ref is even more important during these dire economic times. We continue to see entrepreneurs with ideas to start and grow their businesses. Many of these deals have the potential to create new jobs and contribute to the economic viability and overall quality of life in Howard County. Clearly, j-ref, consistent with the banks, engages in greater scrutiny of each loan request to accommodate the higher risk in the market. That said, though, we see excellent business models and talented individuals who require and deserve capital.
We, therefore, reaffirm the mission of j-ref. We continue to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Howard County. Our commitment is unwavering because the need is on-going.

Michael Mobley has just been named, “2009 Maryland Small Business Journalist of the Year,” by the Maryland SBA. Michael will be honored at the Maryland Small Business Week Awards Breakfast in May.

1 comment:

sixfive said...

nice, man. It's good to see someone out there actually looking out for people and not in it to exploit them.