LinkedIn: I Hope Your Membership Shrinks!
There is a reason why business networking site, Linkedin, was able to go public and grow in a down economy. Its growth is a result of the majority of its members being out-of-work, mid- to senior-level executives searching for any opportunity to network in their fields of expertise to obtain a job. If they are not out of work, they are running scared that the bleak outlook for the economy will put them on the streets soon…and its membership is growing.
Let’s face it. The economy is not going to rebound until the American public’s individual confidence for a chance of a prosperous future is restored. Once a person’s achievements of their dreams seem bleak, it stifles risk taking, buying, and investing. What sector of American business is affected most?... Small business.
By small business, I mean small business in the manufacturing sector and the building/construction industries–the core of the U.S. economy, specifically.
As a business consultant in these industries, I see casualties every week. When the politicians are giving examples of auto manufacturers’ recovery and banks’ recovery as going in the right direction, it is too late for the small businesses that have hung on as long as long as they could. Their reserves ran out, their credit exhausted, their business dried up, they have cut back as far as they could. Even if the economy rebounded today, they have too poor of a credit rating to turn to the banks. Vendors, to whom they owe money, are reluctant to extend more credit. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg with the staggering unemployment rate and I suspect Linkedin will continue to grow.
What happens when a tornado, flood or earthquake devastates regions in the U.S.? Better yet, what happens when a natural disaster occurs in remote parts of the world? Billions of U.S. dollars flood the region in aid. Ladies and gentlemen, the economic condition of the manufacturing and construction industries rates among the worse disasters in its affect on the lives of millions of Americans.
Where is our government? ... MIA!
The auto company bailouts, the bank bailouts, and the economic recovery funds used for infrastructure improvements did absolutely nothing for small business. I am not a proponent for U.S. government bailouts. Needless to say, the result of the billions of dollars spent so far seemed futile.
What I am proposing is a method for small business to survive in the current market and be able to stimulate a rebound. Today, banks will not lend money to struggling businesses. They want three years of strong financials, strong assets, and personal guaranties. How many businesses do we know that fit that profile? Do you think the large auto companies and banks had to comply with those criteria? I think not. Loosen up the lending policies and make funds available to keep our small businesses viable.
Small business needs attention. Congress and this administration need to supply disaster aid to the heart of this economy. If you agree with any of my comments, please create the buzz. Pass this on to your colleagues, congressman, bankers and this administration.
I’m sorry LinkedIn. I would like to see your membership shrink.