An Opportunity to be A Part of History, Continued…

In Part One of this very engrossing two part series, I referenced baseball’s opening day, and voiced the sentiment that many IFA leaders were heading to D.C. with a sense of optimism because we felt we could truly make a positive difference.  Well, now a week later, I can whole-heartedly say that last week’s Small Business Lending Summit (SBLS) was one for the record books and I absolutely DO feel like everyone in the room made a positive difference!! 

Speaking at the SBLS alongside The UPS Store franchisee Mariana Huberman

Think of the SBLS as the baseball game where each team scores every inning – one for you, one for us, two for you, two for us.  My opinion is this “game” is far from over, but our team (the franchise community, the bankers and the policy makers) is currently leading against team No Money for You.  We’re only in the bottom of the 2nd inning though, so what we have to do now is be relentless in keeping the pressure on in order to sustain our advantage. 

I believe IFA Chairman, and McDonald’s franchisee, Jack Earle summed up the day very well when he said, “The dialog was at times tense and always enlightening”.  At one point, there was a lot of “respectful disagreeing” going on, but even after that particular presentation the panelist came off the stage and offered a pat on the fanny to the crowd (metaphorically speaking, of course). True progress cannot be made unless all parties really make an effort to understand the opinions and views of their counterparts.  I believe the SBLS absolutely provided the right environment for progress to materialize.

Below the jump are my Top Ten SBLS “Plays of the Day”:

  1. There is an estimated $10.4 billion dollar demand for capital by the franchise community.  Unfortunately, there’s only an $8.4 billion supply available leaving us with a $2 billion “lending gap”.  This could seriously further impede the already slow economic recovery.
  2. When conference attendees are warming their hands by the coffee table heat lamps and wrapping themselves in tablecloths, it’s too cold in the room!
  3. Five Guys Burgers is estimated to have 1,000 locations by the end of 2011.  How have I not eaten at one yet?
  4. Karen Mills, SBA Administrator, says the three reasons why banks aren’t lending are: 1) they don’t want the risk, 2) they don’t have any capital, 3) regulatory restrictions.
  5. The US borrows $4 billion dollars per day!
  6. Tony Wilkerson, CEO of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lendors (NAGGL) says, history shows direct correlation between small business access to credit and job creation. 
  7. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal says history is clear that the economy does worse when one party (either party) controls government. Divided government equals best economic situation. 
  8. Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig, Associate Professor of International Business and Finance, and Director, Global Perspectives Program, Emory University, says two words to remember regarding franchising: “Resilient” and “Locomotive”.  The franchise model is resilient and franchising can be a locomotive for growth. 
  9. It is possible to run a 9 ¼ hour event with 200 attendees, 47 speakers, 5 panels, a white paper release, senior government officials and media and have it finish exactly on time!  Amazingly well-done!!
  10. There are at least nine “C’s” in lending, not just collateral, capacity and character.  A tenth was suggested to be added, “Common Sense”. 

Posted by Susan Black-Beth, Chief Operating Officer, Super Wash, LLC. Check out Susan’s blog at