This report was intentionally designed to produce a concise overview of several complex small business financing issues by describing commercial loan difficulties in six words. To help small business owners survive an extremely challenging commercial lending environment, this article is one of several efforts we have undertaken. A better understanding of practical business finance options for commercial borrowers should also be realized by reviewing related reports such as “six words describing working capital management” and “seven words to describe merchant cash advances”.

Before proceeding, it is important to emphasize that small business finance options are often more complicated than anticipated by many business borrowers. We are definitely not attempting to characterize business loans and working capital financing as either straightforward or simple. Actually, we are making the opposite case. The unfortunate reality that most business financing processes have always been excessively complicated and that meaningful improvements are not on the way is one of our ongoing observations. In the face of the prevailing commercial lending complexity, we nevertheless feel that it is critical for each small business owner to have an absolute and total understanding of the entire commercial finance process. To help in providing more understandable insights about commercial loans and business banking problems, this particular report is one of several thorough efforts on our part.

“Business financing is in intensive care” is our first six-word observation in this article. Extreme measures such as firing their banker and finding alternative commercial funding sources will need to be anticipated by small business owners in many cases. Nobody should expect that bankers will publicly announce that they are in any kind of financial trouble after recalling that they have not been sufficiently candid about commercial lending problems in the past. In a contrary viewpoint, banks seemingly maintain that they are lending normally to small businesses. Commercial borrowers will need a healthy amount of skepticism when dealing with any commercial lender.

Our second example of six words describing business financing options is “banks are saying no more often”. A series of candid conversations with other business borrowers will probably remove all doubts for any small business owner still unaware of this harsh reality and who might doubt this observation. The failure of banks to provide an adequate level of business loans on a widespread basis is the primary point to remember. It is important for small businesses to realize that they are not alone when they hear their bank say no to routine requests for commercial financing.

“Lines of credit are disappearing fast” is another six-word description of commercial financing. Even the most successful businesses need a reliable source of working capital financing, so this situation is especially serious if a business cannot replace bank financing when it suddenly disappears. On a widespread basis banks are reducing and eliminating business credit lines with almost no advance notice, and this must be realized even if a business still has an adequate line of credit.

“Commercial property values have decreased dramatically” is our final observation in this report. There are very few exceptions. Commercial refinancing situations will probably produce the biggest business financing impact. Even if a business owner has no interest in refinancing their commercial mortgage, many banks are aggressively recalling (revoking or rescinding) existing commercial real estate loans and this literally forces a borrower to seek business refinancing from another lender whether they want it or not. With decreasing commercial real estate values, business refinancing will be a challenge for most small businesses.

This report was produced in a direct effort to provide more understandable insights about some of the most critical business finance issues effecting commercial borrowers. Our approach in this report was to describe current commercial loan circumstances in six words. We have adopted a similar model in other commercial finance reports such as “seven words to describe commercial property loans”. The “simpler is better” perspective reflects the belief that after hearing an almost endless number of reports about commercial lending difficulties, what small business owners might really need is a more concise explanation about these problems and the resulting impact on their business financing options.

Stephen Bush has provided practical commercial finance expert advice to small businesses for 30 years. He delivers small business financing options, merchant cash advances and business finance consulting throughout the United States. Steve and AEX Commercial Financing Group are an experienced source of working capital loans and commercial real estate financing.

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