Category: Small Business Financing

Why This VC Is Grumpy

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 29

A tangible print product is tough, because, unlike a blog post or a piece of software code, you can’t just change it on the fly. This is a post by…

Money for Nothing, Content for Free

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 21

How do I produce a 250-page document that is professionally edited, packaged, and distributed, yet communicate the information consistent with the spirit of the blogosphere—open and free? This is a…

Credit Card Rates Rising for Small Business Cards

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 09

In this week’s issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek we report on how credit card reform left small businesses behind — and how card issuers are reacting now that they play by…

Bank of America Extends CARD Act Protections to Small Biz

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 01

Bank of America will give small business credit card customers many of the same protections that consumers now enjoy under Washington’s stricter regulations, including an agreement not to raise interest…

Credit Card Over Limit Fees Persist for Small Businesses

Posted by: John Tozzi on March 29

The credit card reform Congress passed last year ended “over limit” penalties –- typically $35 fees applied when cardholders charge more than their credit lines allow -– unless customers opt…

Advanta Bank Closed by Utah Regulators

Posted by: John Tozzi on March 22

Advanta Bank Corp., the small business credit card lender that last year settled “unfair and deceptive practices” charges with regulators over rate hikes imposed on small business customers, was seized…

The Entrepreneurs and VCs I Interviewed for My New Book

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 19

I mentioned in my last post that I decided to write a book about venture capital and entrepreneurship, which is coming out next month. In this post, I wanted to…

The VC Author

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 10

Although VC money is not a fit in all cases, the lessons from VCs and the entrepreneurs they work with are useful in a broad range of businesses This is…

Chase’s Ads: How Many Businesses Sought “Second Look?”

Posted by: John Tozzi on March 09

JPMorgan Chase has been trumpeting increases in lending to small businesses in full-page print ads. One running today in The New York Times describes the bank’s new policy to give…

Do SBA Guarantees Increase Net Lending?

Posted by: John Tozzi on March 01

Reuters’ Felix Salmon raises a good question at the end of a post about whether governments can actually sway banks to lend more. He writes: [W]hen the government guarantees loans,…

Google’s Angels

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 26

In this week’s issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Kimberly Weisul and Spencer Ante report on the cadre of Google veterans plowing their cash into startups: More than 40 ex-Googlers have invested…

Mother-in-Law Market Research

Posted by: Nick Leiber on February 26

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. I’ll never forget my first marketing class at business school. Our professor peered at us with an intense glare as he…

Largest Banks Less Likely To Meet Business Credit Needs

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 23

Small business customers at the nation’s 18 largest banks reported less success getting credit than customers of other commercial banks, according to a report released today by researchers at the…

Huntington Bank to Ease Credit to Small Businesses

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 17

A regional bank in the Midwest is preparing to do what small business owners and politicians have been urging since the start of the financial crisis in 2008: increase lending…

Morgan Stanley Planning Small Business Program: Report

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 12

Small business microlender Accion USA is in talks with Morgan Stanley to develop a new lending program, according to an article in American Banker this week. In a wide-ranging profile…

Curt Schilling Earns (an Expensive) Harvard Business School MBA

Posted by: Nick Leiber on February 04

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. In his storied baseball career, Curt Schilling has rarely found himself at a loss for words. So it was great fun…

Lower Home, Stock Values Hamper Small Business Credit

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 21

One reason small business lending is down is that many loans are secured by personal assets that have lost value. A recent article in the San Francisco Fed’s Community Investments…

Comparing Small Business Credit Cards

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 21

I spent a good deal of time last year writing about credit card reform — and how Congress left small business cards out of the new consumer protection laws. At…

Why Invest in Oneforty and the Real-Time Web?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on January 14

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. Today’s announcement of our investment in oneforty is a useful prompt to talk about why I’m a big believer (and now…

Why Do VCs Blog (and Tweet)?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on January 06

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. For decades, the venture capital industry was like a Yale Secret Society—very clubby, discrete, and opaque. VCs had all the power…

Negative Trends: Why Lending May Not Pick Up In 2010

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 30

Small business owners expecting an easier time getting a loan or credit line in 2010 should watch out for two words: Negative trends. Bankers look at a business’s past two…

A Second Look for Small Business Loan Applicants

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 16

One of the notions to come out of President Obama’s meeting with bank execs Monday was that lenders would take a “second look” at rejected loan applications. From the AP:…

Making Borrowers Healthier, As Well As Banks

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 11

One reason the credit crisis persists for small businesses is that even as banks have tightened their lending standards, fewer small businesses are considered creditworthy. Many have seen sales drop,…

Note to Entrepreneurs and VCs: Trust, But Verify

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 04

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. A lot has been written in the last week about the scandal at Canopy Financial, a venture-backed, high-flying start-up that attracted…

Fed Survey Shows Bank Credit Standards Stabilizing

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 09

Most banks kept credit standards for commercial loans to small businesses (under $50 million in sales) the same over the last three months, while a handful further tightened credit, according…

Advanta Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 09

Advanta Corp., once one of the largest credit card lenders to small businesses, filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday night. The Spring House (Pa.) company’s main operation…

Embattled CIT Group Files For Bankruptcy

Posted by: Stacy Perman on November 02

After several months of twists and turns in an effort to avoid bankruptcy, on Sunday CIT Group put an end to its ongoing saga and indeed filed for a prepackaged…

Icahn Outlines His Plans for CIT

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 28

After announcing a $6 billion loan offer to ailing CIT, Carl Icahn, one of the firm’s bondholders and a longtime corporate rattler, has begun putting a fine point on his…

Can Carl Icahn’s $6 Billion Offer Save CIT?

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 19

Here comes another turn in the ongoing saga of embattled CIT Group: billionaire investor and corporate rattler Carl Icahn, a CIT bondholder, sent a letter to the company’s board of…

CIT’s Peek Steps Down

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 13

Barely a month ago embattled CIT Group, a New York commercial lender that provides funding to some 1 million small and medium-sized businesses astonished many when it announced that it…

Negotiating Interchange Fees: One Merchant’s Story

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 12

We asked for tips last week on how your business deals with high interchange fees on accepting credit card payments. Opponents of laws to regulate interchange fees say, among other…

Angel Funds on the Rise

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 09

Entrepreneurs who want to raise angel funding can approach three types of potential investors: individuals, angel networks, and angel funds. Individual angels are wealthy people looking to invest in private…

Small Merchants Attempt to Hold Down Interchange Fees

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 09

Some small business owners shared their suggestions for minimizing credit card interchange fees, after yesterday’s hearing on a bill to restrict some fees and increase transparency. (Interchange fees are what…

Merchants Seek Lower Credit Card Interchange Fees

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 07

Are American shoppers and businesses paying billions of dollars more than they should be to use credit cards? That’s the big question that the House Financial Services Committee will look…

The VC Gender Gap: Are VCs Sexist?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on October 06

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. I find the preponderance of males in VC an annoying and stubborn phenomenon. When I first entered the start-up game as…

Advanta Lawsuit Pending; Average Settlement: $131

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 30

Thanks to everyone for all your comments and stories about the settlement checks from Advanta. I confirmed that there is a lawsuit pending in California against Advanta over rate hikes,…

A Rescue Plan for CIT Group?

Posted by: Stacy Perman on September 29

On the heels of the announcement that the struggling CIT Group had extended the contract of its CEO Jeffrey Peek, comes news that the company (which has lost more than…

Advanta Settlement Checks Arrive…With A Thud

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 28

Some Advanta cardholders are receiving checks from the company’s $35 million settlement with the FDIC over steep rate hikes. A reader Deborah writes in a comment: My interest rate was…

Chase Debuts Small-Business Credit Cards; Advice Site Bizmore Launches

Posted by: Nick Leiber on September 24

It’s been a busy week for marketers targeting business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Yesterday Chase debuted four new payment cards, including one that requires holders to pay off balances in…

CEO Who Oversaw Loss of Billions At CIT Given New Contract

Posted by: Stacy Perman on September 06

Last July, to the astonishment of many, the CIT Group, a New York commercial lender that provides funding to some 1 million small and medium-sized businesses announced that it had…

ARC Loans: How the States Stack Up

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 24

As the NY Times noted last week, a big portion of the ARC loans made so far has been concentrated in a handful of Midwestern states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa,…

One-Third of Credit Card Holders’ Limits Cut

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 21

Don’t miss this AP story about how credit card companies have reduced the limits for 58 million cardholders with little regard to their credit scores. The conclusion is based on…

A Fix for ARC Loans: Microlenders

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 20

By now difficulties with the Small Business Administration’s ARC Loan program are well known. These are small loans up to $35,000, 100% guaranteed by the government, and interest-free to the…

Is the Small Business Credit Crunch at a Turning Point?

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 17

Is the credit crunch for small businesses approaching an end? There’s a hopeful sign in the survey of senior loan officers out from the Fed today (PDF): One of the…

Bank Lending: Still Held Back By Bad Assets

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 14

Today we feature a story from the new issue of BW Small Biz magazine about how banks are still reluctant to make loans to small businesses. BW’s Jeremy Quittner reports:…

PayPal’s Reserve Policy Can Disrupt Cash-Flow

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 11

Consumerist reports that PayPal has started holding back portions of some merchants’ receipts as large as 20% in a rolling reserve to cover charge backs or refunds. It’s not just…

How Risky Are Healthy Small Businesses?

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 03

Have healthy small businesses been unfairly denied access to credit? A new study from credit bureau Experian suggests that companies that were in good financial shape two years ago are…

What do Venture Capitalists Want?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on August 03

In talking to several entrepreneurs over the last few weeks I heard major frustration over the lack of vc funding available in the marketplace. But it made me wonder: Do…

VC Funding Edges Up, First-Time Fundings Remain Low

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 21

Venture capital investment ticked up slightly in the second quarter to $3.7 billion invested in 612 deals, up from $3.2 billion in 603 deals in the first quarter, according to…

Bankruptcies: What Happens When Your Loan Gets Sold?

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 08

While I was reporting a story about rising business bankruptcies last month, one trend stood out: creditors are less willing to work with insolvent businesses to return the business to…

Advanta Settles “Deceptive and Unfair Practices” Charge for $35 Million

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 02

Advanta agreed to pay $35 million in restitution to small business cardholders who saw their APRs jacked up unfairly, in a settlement announced by the FDIC. The agreement also covers…

Behind the Business Bankruptcy Statistics

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 23

Whenever I write about business bankruptcies, I have to go back to this paper by Robert Lawless and Elizabeth Warren. Published in the California Law Review in 2005, it’s called…

What’s the future of small business credit?

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 19

What’s the future of small business credit? We’ve been writing and thinking a lot about this lately. It’s a peculiar time: We’re in the middle of a recession that was…

ARC Loans Offer Small Businesses $35,000 For “Immediate Hardship”

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 16

Small businesses that have been recently profitable but are having trouble meeting debt payments can now apply for Small Business Administration-backed bridge loans to help. These loans are designed to…

Kiva to Facilitate Loans to Small Businesses in the U.S.

Posted by: Nick Leiber on June 10

The Kiva offices in San Francisco in 2006. One of the biggest problems for most aspiring entrepreneurs is access to startup capital. Take Lucy Whittle, 54, an unemployed woman…

Small Business Loan Demand Rising at Community Lenders

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 05

I had an interesting chat today with Mark Pinsky, CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, which is an organization of financial institutions that focus on low-income and low-wealth communities. These mostly…

Another Way to IPO

Posted by: Nick Leiber on June 02

Now this sounds like a promising idea, given what had been a prolonged IPO drought. Backed by venture capital firms and institutional investors, a company named InsideVenture just introduced a…

Why Small Businesses Need Credit Card Reform

Posted by: John Tozzi on May 26

A reader named Karen just left this comment on a post about credit card rates rising: Today (5/26/09) I got an email from Advanta that they are closing ALL of…

SBA To Offer More Loan Help

Posted by: Stacy Perman on May 19

As of next week, more small businesses will be eligible for Small Business Administration-backed loans. Such financial help is the result of the SBA’s temporary change in the standard size…

Bridge Loans from the SBA

Posted by: Jeremy Quittner on May 14

Get ready for the Small Business Administration to announce the availability of $35,000 bridge loans for distressed small businesses. John Miller, director of marketing for the SBA’s New York District…

Advanta Cuts Off Small Business Customers

Posted by: John Tozzi on May 12

Small business credit card issuer Advanta is shutting down all customer accounts on June 10 in an effort to shore up its finances amid steep losses, the company announced yesterday….

Small Business Credit Card Rates On The Rise

Posted by: John Tozzi on May 11

Has your credit card company raised your rates, cut your limit, or both? If so, you’re not alone. Nearly two thirds of small business owners reported seeing their rates go…

10 Straight Quarters of Tightening Credit for Small Business

Posted by: John Tozzi on May 04

Banks are still tightening credit standards for small businesses, but not to the degree they did at the end of last year. That’s according to the Fed’s quarterly survey of…

Need Venture Capital? Drop the Phony Commando Act

Posted by: Colleen DeBaise on April 28

Now here’s an interesting tip that came from last week’s NYC Entrepreneur week: If you’re trying to impress a venture capitalist, don’t pretend you’re a Navy SEAL. Amish Jani, managing…

When You’re Ready to Find the Investor of Your Life

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on April 24

Not to beleaguer the point or anything, but relationships matter. It was true back in October 2007 - long before the crash, if anyone can even remember such a time…

Are Incubators the Answer for Companies Looking for Funding?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 22

When Rod Underhill co-founded music sharing site MP3.com, he had venture capital calling him up before he even had office furniture. The company, which Underhill notes did not have a…

Venture Capital Funding Disappearing — Will It Come Back?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 20

Venture capital investments dropped to the lowest level since 1997 in the first quarter, with just $3 billion invested, according to the MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture…

A Promising Sign for Small Business Loans

Posted by: Kimberly Weisul on April 17

It seems that the secondary market for Small Business Administration-backed loans may actually be thawing out a bit. Banks that make SBA-backed loans have historically been able to sell the…

When a Junk-Loan Buyer Buys Your Loan

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 17

What happens if your bank fails, your loan gets auctioned off by the FDIC, and a junk-loan buyer comes a-calling? There’s a revealing story about this scary scenario in today’s…

Presenting to an Angel Investor? Three Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by: Kimberly Weisul on April 14

When I asked to sit in on a screening meeting of the Tri-State Private Investors…I learned how to get angel investors to roll their eyes, chuckle, and throw their hands up in frustration. The mistakes entrepreneurs made in their presentations were sadly predictable.

How much do venture capitalists care about business plans?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 13

Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software takes issue with a post at the WSJ’s Independent Street about research that says VCs don’t make funding decisions based on business plans. (Press…

Small Business Lending Grows In Cleveland

Posted by: Colleen DeBaise on April 09

KeyBank announced this week that it’s surpassed its goal of providing $2 billion in capital to women business owners – and it’s done that three years ahead of schedule, despite…

Tapping Investors’ Retirement Cash to Fund Small Businesses

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 09

Would you put your retirement money into a start-up or other small private company? More people may be doing just that, as other retirement investments like stocks and bonds have…

Looking for an Angel

Posted by: Amy Barrett on March 30

As if entrepreneurs needed more reason to conserve cash. On March 30 University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research released its survey on angel investing. The bottom line: angel…

Does Your Business Need Improved Access to Credit?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 25

In his column in today’s New York Times about the Obama Administration’s financial rescue plan, which is being sold, in part, as a way to fix the markets for small-business…

Obama Administration’s Program to Ease Credit for Small Business Owners

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 16

President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are scheduled to announce a program at noon today at the White House that includes reducing small-business lending fees and increasing the…

In Addition to TALF, More Credit for Small Business

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 10

Last week, we reported on the expanded $200 billion joint Fed and Treasury program, known as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. TALF’s purpose is to induce investors…

More Troubling Stories from the Credit Crunch

Posted by: Nick Leiber on February 23

We’ve been offering strategies for dealing with the repercussions of the credit crunch for months. So a blog post today on the Huffington Post by Palo Alto Software founder and…

Banks keep tightening credit

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 03

Banks are still raising lending standards. The Fed released its quarterly survey of senior loan officers yesterday (summary here, report PDF here). 69 percent of banks surveyed reported tightening lending…

Small Banks: The Next Bust?

Posted by: Stacy Perman on January 30

In the midst of the banking industry’s meltdown, a number of community banks across the country have proven to be a bright spot in the otherwise doom and gloom that…

Small business owners have credit lines pulled

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 13

The National Small Business Association just released its year-end economic report, based on a member survey. One thing jumped out at me: 28 percent of business owners surveyed said…

How an Email Sales Pitch Sparked a Story

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 09

Today we have a story about merchant cash advance providers, companies that offer small businesses cash up front in exchange for collecting a portion of their future credit card sales,…

Is your bank on this list?

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 30

ProPublica is keeping a running tally of banks that took TARP money (via NPR). I was surprised by how many small regional and community banks were on the list. One…

What Is the SBA Doing to Free Up Small Business Capital?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 29

We talked about the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on this blog back in November. Now it’s time to mention another government-backed financial relief program, the Term Asset-Backed Securities…

Madoff Scandal Also Hits Small Business Owners

Posted by: Stacy Perman on December 24

In recent weeks, a galaxy of marquee names in finance, philanthropy and even Hollywood have turned up, ensnared in the far-reaching Ponzi scheme allegedly orchestrated by Bernie Madoff. However, today’s…

More Concerned About Falling Sales Than Access to Credit

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 22

Despite ongoing alarms about the credit crunch, small business owners are actually more concerned about sales than they are about access to credit. That’s according to a recent National Federation…

New Fed credit card rule doesn’t apply to small business cards

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 19

The Fed adopted new rules yesterday that would crack down on some practices by credit card companies in an attempt to make credit card agreements fairer and more transparent. Issuers…

The Outlook for Venture Capital

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 17

The predictions for venture capital investment in 2009 aren’t good. In a survey released today by the National Venture Capital Association, 92% of the 400-plus VCs who responded expected investment…

Taking the Pulse of Hispanic-Owned Small Business

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 12

I have a guest post here from Manuel Baigorri, who has been interning in BusinessWeek’s Chicago bureau. In it, he reports on the effects of the credit crunch on Hispanic-owned…

Predicting a Drop in Angel Investment

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 11

What’s the outlook for angel investment this year and next? An estimated drop of about 10% in 2008 compared to 2007 and a decline in 2009 as well. That’s according…

Good News Anyone?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on December 10

It seems like the economic news today veers between just awful to plain horrifying. So I was surprised when I spoke with business owner David Sullivan today. Sullivan runs…

How to use small business credit cards

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 20

There’s a great discussion about using credit cards in the comments on this post by Justin McHenry on Small Business Trends. He jumps off from an article we published in…

Forgetting to read the fine print: Ouch.

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on November 12

Or maybe the print, period. I’m generally a pretty astute — some might say obsessive — bookkeeper of my personal finances. I manage mine, and my hubby-to-be’s, cashflow carefully. I…

Across the Pond: A Nation of Shopkeepers Debate Their Bailout Too

Posted by: Stacy Perman on November 05

The issues facing small businesses became a front burner item in the recent presidential election that landed Senator Barack Obama in the White House. Over in England a similarly divisive…

Banks cut credit card limits, even for prime borrowers

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 03

The Fed’s quarterly survey of bank loan officers (PDF here) is out today. No surprise that credit got tighter for businesses of all sizes over the prior three months (the…

New Businesses Rely More on Bank Loans and Credit Cards Than Friends and Family

Posted by: Nick Leiber on November 03

Where do most new businesses turn to for startup capital? The common assumption is friends and family. But a recent report from the Kauffman Foundation shows most actually rely on…

A Big Banker Calls for Injecting Small Banks With Bailout Money

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 30

New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera gave up his Executive Suite column today and instead published an email sent to him by the veteran of a large bank with…

Small business snapshot: More credit cards, less travel

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 27

A couple of nuggets from a survey out today by AllBusiness.com of 305 small business owners: One-third of business owners sampled reported having trouble getting credit for their companies. Credit…

Small business loans from credit unions way up

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 22

One more indicator of credit conditions for small businesses: credit unions are originating a lot more business loans this year. Credit unions, which are not-for-profit, membership-based financial institutions, have not…

US entrepreneurs turn to microfinance

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 08

We’ve written about Kiva, the microfinance site that connects lenders with entrepreneurs in the developing world who need small loans. But it looks like US entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to…

Will good ideas still get funded?

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 30

Adam Davidson at NPR’s excellent Planet Money blog asks the right question: “Will normal banks stop lending money to people and companies that deserve it?” The single biggest selling point…

More on the small business credit crunch

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 30

I want to flag this segment from CBS News Sunday on small companies facing tighter credit. It touches on some of the things we’ve been reporting lately, including the credit…

Rescue for Small Business?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on September 29

As the debate about the now-stalled government bailout continues, supporters continue to argue the plan is critical to the health of small business in this country. So what’s actually in…

Customer Financing

Posted by: Stacy Perman on September 25

Some small businesses, squeezed hard by the credit crunch and unable to obtain bank loans, have found unique sources of funding. The New York Post reports that the popular Five…

Ten Resources for Nervous Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Nick Leiber on September 16

With Monday’s dramatic global sell-off in the financial markets, you’re probably already aware that the credit crunch will only get worse. You’re also probably thinking the crisis isn’t over yet….

Paying business debts before home mortgages, Part II

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 11

Just a brief follow-up on the item I posted Monday on how business owners are paying their commercial debts even as many fall behind on home loans. In the comments,…

Entrepreneurs pay business debts before their mortgages

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 08

Small business owners are more willing to default on their home mortgages than on their business debts, according to research out today from credit bureau Experian. Some 312,000 business owners…

Mortgage problems for the self-employed

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 02

Alt-A mortgages were designed for people with good credit who had trouble documenting their income — people like the self-employed. Not as risky as subprime but not quite prime either,…

More grim credit news from the Fed

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 12

The Fed released its quarterly survey of senior loan officers (PDF) yesterday. The news is not good for small business borrowers: 65 percent of banks surveyed tightened their lending standards…

Marketplace: Credit card terms tightening for entrepreneurs

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 06

Nice piece from the radio show Marketplace on how slippery credit card terms affect small business owners relying on cards for financing. Apparently banks are cracking down because investors are…

Angels to the Rescue?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on July 30

It’s hardly news that it’s always been tough for startups to obtain financing. But a shift in venture capital investing in recent years has made it particularly difficult for seed…

Do you feel the credit crunch yet?

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 28

How badly has the credit crunch hit small companies? The Times leads today with a story about banks clamping down on business loans. Peter S. Goodman writes: But recent signs…

C.F.I.M.I.T.Y.M.

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 25

Ken Morse, director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, dropped by for a chat today, and passed along an acronym every entrepreneur should learn: CFIMITYM. That is, “Cash Flow Is More…

Women: Speak up!

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on July 17

One of the biggest takeaways from Springboard’s venture capital bootcamp this week in Manhattan is that women, we don’t brag enough. We get nervous about speaking about ourselves, we hesitate…

Cure for the Credit Crunch?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on July 16

Small business owners have never had it easy when it comes securing financing. But there’s no doubt things are worse now than ever. Ed Harycki, CEO at Swift Financial, a…

VCs bet on iPhone apps makers

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 16

A glance at the top 10 iPhone apps this morning shows eight that come from startups and only two -– Reuters and ESPN –- from big companies. I forgot…

Credit Cards Crunching Small Business Owners

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 11

I just caught this piece by Simone Baribeau in the Washington Post last week on small business owners caught in credit card debt: Entrepreneurs have long used credit cards as…

Crowdfunding for Startups

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 03

I’m fascinated by crowdsourcing and the new business models it enables. Companies have been tapping crowds for product design and customer service for some time now. It’s much trickier to…

Another Look Inside

Posted by: Jeremy Quittner on July 01

It pays to be an inner city small business these days, especially if you’re green. Helios Coatings, in Canton, Ohio, recently closed a $4 million investment round from venture capital…

About

What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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