August 2009


Borrowing money isn’t the best thing for an owner-operator to do in a down economy like this. But if you must – or plan to do so as soon as the recovery becomes more evident – it’s good to know how the market is changing.

Small-business lending was dead in the water last year as the credit market collapsed, but CNNMoney.com reports that it’s “managed to heal itself” without help from the federal stimulus funding.

“Figuring out how to revive the secondary market has been a priority for the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department. The government set aside billions to invest, vastly eclipsing the money earmarked for other small business stimulus efforts. But while government agencies struggled to get their programs up and running, the market came back to life on its own,” says the website.

SBA has been offering new money through its America’s Recovery Capital this year, but owner-operators keep running into roadblocks when they try to borrow, reports the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

 — Max Heine

Advertisements

Industrial production increased by a half-percent in July, the Federal Reserve announced today. While housing and other indicators with relevance to truck freight have shown twitches of life in recent months, this marked the first monthly increase in this measurement since December 2007 (not counting a hurricane-related rebound in October 2008).

The manufacturing component of the index rose 1.0 percent in July. This was mostly due to a tax-revived auto industry, which saw vehicle assemblies jump from 4.1 million units in June to 5.9 million in July (annualized rates).

Here’s the entire report, which covers other segments, as well.

— Max Heine

 

 If you’ve caught the business news in recent days, you know there have been some positive signs. Home prices and sales, employment and other indicators are looking better, possibly meaning a bottoming out of the downturn.

But when it comes to small business and credit, it’s still a mess, reports CNNMoney.com: “Bank lending is down, credit card interest rates are up, and the country’s largest small business lender, CIT Group … is hanging by a thread.” Not good news for owner-operators, who even in good times often rely too much on credit, and many of whom struggle with trying to escape a bad credit rating.

The article reviews President Obama’s promises and programs intended to help small business survive the recession, such as passage of the credit card reform bill and increased lending by the Small Business Administration.

— Max Heine