Small businesses have had a difficult time obtaining financing in recent years, with the credit markets tightening as a result of the downturn in the economy. Many entrepreneurs have been forced to seek alternative forms financing or other methods to get much-needed lines of credits for new business ventures.
In some cases, business owners will seek to gain short-term financing during periods of time when they need to purchase more items than normal ahead of busy shopping seasons. One area that has seen its fair share of ups and downs during the recession is Texas, where some have been presented with new challenges unlike those in years past. In San Antonio, Ruben Lopez, who has owned Toy Zone for 27 years, said that securing a short-term loan shortly before Christmas in order to stock up on inventory was more difficult than it had ever been, the San Antonio Express-News reports. "They're not going to loan it to you unless it's considered a sure thing. They want an almost no-risk loan," said Lopez in an interview with the news source. Lopez told the paper that he had finally been able to get the loan after putting up some of his assets as collateral. Lopez said he remained uncertain of the future when it came to credit markets loosening. "Whether it will loosen up this year, I don't really know," he commented. One person with first-hand knowledge of the financing issue is Karl Kuykendall, Bank of America's market executive for greater Texas business. In an interview with the newspaper, Kuykendall said that BofA was "aggressively seeking" businesses to loan money to but that it needed to make sure that these companies would be able to pay back the money they had been lent. Other forms lending have been a topic of debate in the Lone Star State. In Texas, the state legislature recently voted to pass a bill that requires short term lenders and auto loan title loan industry firms to provide more disclosure to consumers regarding the fees they pay. However, another bill that sought to stop abusive practices was voted down by the state legislature.