Maybe Peter Pan had it right – maybe thinking happy thoughts is the key to rising up out of the recession.
Reports this week show that consumer mood has given stocks a boost. According to Chain Leader:
The stock market rose for the first time in a week Tuesday as unexpectedly strong data on consumer confidence sparked optimism that spending by Americans could support a hoped-for economic recovery in the second half of the year.
Citing a bunch of numerical data that means absolutely nil to me, the report went onto describe how consumer sentiment is at it’s highest since September, and investors hope resilient consumers will increase spending in time for the back-to-school season in late summer, helping manufacturers and retailers boost their depleted earnings.
Obviously, there is only so much consumer confidence can do to repair the state of the economy. But for restaurant operators, it could be a sign that banks will begin to ease up on lending as the markets rebound.
In a panel discussion at the recent NRA Show in Chicago, Bernie Siegel, founder and chairman of Siegel Financial Group and NRA Show panelist, said the key to staying afloat is to getting banks to start lending again.
He advised operators to seek financing from smaller, regional banks, as opposed to those with more than three branches.
In addition, the SBA offers a number of online courses aimed at helping small business owners obtain financing and develop a business plan. The SBA announced recently it will guarantee up to 90% of a loan submitted under several of the administration’s small business programs.
And, let’s not forget Obama’s economic stimulus package. Millions of dollars are still up for grabs in federal foodservice equipment grants for K-12 schools.
The government hopes to begin awarding the school foodservice grants beginning June 8. State deadlines to apply are approaching – in just Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri (whose application deadlines are next week) almost $4 million in grants will be awarded. For more information and to get a state-specific application, CentralRestaurant.com