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Hair-Raising Tales from the Bank Vault

The fact that banks are suspending credit lines en masse ("End of the Line?" June/July 2009) shows why business owners should constantly work to stay out of debt. Many need loans to get a company started and to build it, but then fail to pay off these lines of credit.

My Washington Mutual credit card was also transferred to Chase. I let my employees use it to purchase parts from suppliers with whom we do not have an account. As soon as I have the money to pay it off, I do so. It may take me a little longer to realize my goals, but the business will be on a strong foundation.

Damon Wallace

Owner, Mount Pleasant Sales & Service

Gravette, Ark.

Chase raised our credit-card rate even though we have high credit ratings and most often paid considerably more than the minimum payment. I asked if they were intentionally chasing away a longtime customer. They did not answer my question. So we paid off the account and put the card in the safe.

Richard Snow

Vice-President, Snowflake Designs

Clovis, Calif.

Lots of banks talk about relationships, but few actually deliver. Small business is better served by banking with smaller community-based organizations. If you don't have a personal relationship with your bank's chairman or CEO, you're probably working with the wrong bank.

Irv Williamson

Managing Partner, Growth Guidance Solutions

Aurora, Ill.

Those #*%&@!?)& Credit-Card Processors

Our credit-card processor withheld a so-called reserve from us, too ("Holding Back," June/July 2009). At first they held $150,000 from our account and claimed it was because they thought we were a furniture retailer. They gave us no notice and didn't return our phone calls. Five months later they have returned all but $50,000, but there's no time line for the return of the rest.

David Goodman

President, Window Wizards

Levittown, Pa.

One simple word can solve your issues with credit-card processors and save you some money: cash. Stop accepting credit cards, and start accepting only cash.

Charles Polanco

CEO, Privier

Charlotte, N.C.

Making Happiness Part of the Bottom Line

Work-life balance is a hot subject for all executives ("One, two. Here's what I do," June/July 2009), whether or not they run their own companies. Being a successful executive or even a successful entrepreneur is not a matter of how big and profitable your business is. If you, your family, and your employees are trading their happiness for business success, then the whole business will become unsustainable.

Roberto Slepetys

Business Intelligence Director

Boehringer Ingelheim do Brasil

São Paulo, Brazil

Send letters to smallbiz@businessweek.com. They may be edited for length and clarity.

Return to the BWSmallBiz August/September 2009 Table of Contents


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