LinkedIn: I Hope Your Membership Shrinks!

Jeff Nowell, Fenestration International Consulting LLC
June 8, 2011
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

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.

Jeff Nowell, president of Fenestration International Consulting LLC, is an operations and design consultant serving the window and door industry.  With more than 30 years of industry experience, he served in a variety of operations and executive positions at such companies as C-Thru Industries, Patio Enclosures, Owens Corning and California Window Corp.  He sent this article to Window & Door via LinkedIn.  With his permission, we decided to share it on our Web site because we believed many of our readers would share and appreciate his sentiments.  Based in Menifee, Calif., Nowell can be reached at or 888/404-1064.

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I have tried to join before ,but the site askes me for user name & id number ! I dont have that yet please help.



As usual, congress only uses "small business"' as a tool to exploit support for tax cuts and other legislation that benefits "big business" the most. As a true small business owner, I stand a snowball's chance in he11 of getting ANY help from the government. Special interest groups with lobbying pockets full of bribe money are the only ones who benefit.

The hardworking taxpayers of this country have bailed out the banks with billions of dollars and all they have done with the money is used it to pad their paper so that they appear to be stable enough keep from being shut down. I'm sure that  the "big boys" of banking already calculated where to set the solvency cutoff mark (based on how much money they were promised behind closed doors) so they would have the deck stacked in their favor. The ones that didn't get enough money (and knew that they weren't going to) took the monies allotted to them and paid their upper echelon lofty severence packages or transfers for a "job well done". Then they made their stockholders happy enough to keep them from pulling their money from the financial segment of the stock market and let the rank and file employees become the sacrificial lambs to fend for themselves on unemployment. What a great plan!! - and it worked.....for THEM. The rest of us are left paying the tab while getting no loans.

When are the voters in this country going to wake up and boot this bunch of crooks out of office and make them get a real job? I doubt that than any of the 545 of the Washington Elite has done an honest day's work since they were elected and took a seat in The Capitol. I'll get off of my soapbox now....I'm feeling much better now. I think my ulcer has stopped bleeding......

One Could  hope that the economy will rebound, but in reality until congress stops spending our money and give it back to the taxpayers, there will always be frustrations and doubts about our future. When it becomes easier to start a business or expand a business by the banks lending again to QUAILIFIED people, maybe then.

 great article! i totally relate to what he is saying

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