I confess that in my long-ago days at Inc. Magazine, I would write and say how wonderful our readers were. I would also let the sources run off about how their companies and their industries were unique, in problems, opportunities and most of all in contributions to the nation. That was all delusion, fluff and fnord.
On one hand today though, MSM, bloggers and some government sorts have started saying the obvious aloud. That is American businesses have not carried their load and have not done their part in healing our economy. They haven't hired, expanded or even tried to return to previous employment levels.
The most obvious signs of this are the multi-billions and even trillions of cash big companies keep warm in their nests. Despite frighteningly low interest rates of return, big companies are worse than banks at risking anything. They are absurd arguments that would support Scientology's engram hypothesis. They've been burned and are damned if they'll risk anything, even if it puts more money in more hands to buy more stuff to grow the country.
Let's be plain about small businesses though, whether you use the 15, 50 or 500 employee benchmark. With a few exceptions, they have not stepped up. They are not showing the Inc. or even the John Wayne ideals. They are not showing guts, risk taking, concern for fellow Americans or any of that.
We hear much whining about banks not lending money for small-biz use. Instead what appears to have happened is that banks understandably are more demanding of applications than when they were fools lending a decade ago.
There's some fascinating reports on what small businesses are not doing as from:
- National Association for Business Economics (just maybe a slight increase in hiring)
- Inc. (only the most successful, biggest of the small, will be hiring)
- Small Business Administration (2008 report on troubles and how small-biz can deal)
- Two views of whether small biz will step up any time soon
- The White House thoughts on bribing (my word) small business with new tax credits to help
Tags: massmarrier, economy, employment, hiring, recession, bankers, small business