Financial Planning | Leadership / Management | Training & CPE

For small businesses, survival is the top priority

Float We've talked before about the impact President Obama's stimulus package is having on small businesses -- higher guarantees on loans, the temporary elimination of fees for borrowers, a concerted effort to unlock the frozen credit markets.

Now, we're going straight to the source for a more complete look.

I spoke on the phone recently with Steve Umberger and O.J. Phillips. Umberger is director of the Baltimore District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Phillips is assistant district director as well as a CPA and an MACPA member. Together, they explained each of the small business provisions of the stimulus plan in detail.

Along the way, they made a few key points:

  • Smart businesses are getting back to basics -- keeping receivables current, cutting discretionary spending, streamlining inventory. "Survival is the top priority right now," Umberger said.
  • In spite of the recession, small buiness advocates are on the case by collaborating to provide resources to startups and and seasoned businesses alike. The point, say Umberger and Phillips, is this: There's plenty of help available, and that's a good thing.
  • Compared to the rest of the country, Maryland's economy is relatively strong. Its proximity to government work and the local biotechnology industry have a lot to do with that. So do recent military base closures in surrounding states; Phillips says those jobs could soon be making their way to Maryland. In turn, they could provide a boost to the local construction industry and other segments of the workforce that support construction.

Here's the Reader's Digest version: Opportunities still exist for small businesses, and that means it's more important than ever that the folks who serve them collaborate on ways to solve the problems that impact small businesses.

Our economy won't really begin to recover until we do that.

Check out these related resources:

Small business at the Expo
The issues that impact small businesses will take center stage at the second annual Maryland Business and Accounting Expo, scheduled for June 16-17 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Get complete details and register for this groundbreaking event here.


Bill Sheridan