How the Global Economic Meltdown Affected Small-Scale Businesses
In the United States, nearly half of the workforce is employed by 30 million small businesses. When the Great Recession occurred between 2007 and 2009, the economy lost 7.3 million jobs. Global stock market numbers drastically dropped, and the number of financial institutions was reduced. The work of central bankers kicked into high gear. Fiscal initiatives included reduced interest rates and increased money supply. In addition to reduced inventories, a significant impact on the small firm in this recession was tightening access to capital from large lending institutions.
According to the 2012 Economic Report of the President, small businesses have a greater dependency on bank financing than larger businesses. The report defines a small business as a non-farm, private firm with less than 500 employees. After the Great Recession, loans to small businesses were subsequently reduced. From January to December 2011, large bank lending fell by 31 percent to small businesses, according to the report.
Large firms are frequently able to rely on more diverse capital finance options, such as equity stock and public bond markets. Notably, while lending in 2011 decreased to small businesses by large bank lenders, smal- bank lending increased 3.6 percent, according to a Biz2Credit report cited by the presidential economic report. Lending by credit unions increased 8.5 percent in 2011. Alternative lending, from micro-lending, accounts-receivable financing and community development financial institutions lending sources, increased by 12.9 percent.
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama to boost domestic small-business markets. The Act aimed to increase access to small-business federal contracting and small-business exports. Additional post-recession initiatives by federal government agencies included the Small Business Credit Initiative, which provides small-business credit support. The Small Business Lending Fund is one of the U.S. Treasury Department's responses to the Great Recession.
The 2012 President report provides a long-term outlook for small businesses. Forecast estimates point to continued economic recovery through 2022. Forecast estimates are based on assessments of current and projected budgets, inflation, interest rates on treasury bills and notes, consumer price index and nominal and real gross domestic price indices. Forecasts are estimates. Small businesses will have to access their individual operational realities to current economic data to obtain a more accurate assessment of projected economic outlooks.