Feeling the entrepreneurial itch? This is the best time in years to start a small business with a loan from a big bank, according to a new report from online loan marketplace Biz2Credit.
Banks with $10 billion or more in assets have raised their approval rates for small business loan requests to the highest level since 2011, when Biz2Credit started tracking them. In June 2011 big banks granted a measly 8.9 percent of small loan applications. Last month they approved 22.19 percent.
“These are the best numbers for big bank lending since the recession," Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora said in the report.
Banks had pulled back sharply on small business lending during and after the financial crisis. As a result, startups began turning to alternative lenders and credit unions. Those other sources of funding now have approval rates of 61 percent and 43 percent respectively, but those rates have been steadily declining, making the rebound in bank loans all the more welcome.
Bank approval rates are still well below where they were before the recession — and the Biz2Credit report is based on an analysis of just 1,000 loan applications on the site — but the trend is an encouraging one for the entrepreneurs among us.
President Trump won more than 2,600 of the nation’s 3,000-plus counties in the 2016 election, and residents in nearly 90% of those counties – or more than 2,300 – have received some level of aid from the administration’s Market Facilitation Program, a $16 billion effort that compensates farmers for losses incurred as a result of Trump’s trade war with China.
Drawing on a new report from the Environmental Working Group, The Washington Post’s Philip Bump says the data “show the extent to which [the farm] subsidies overlap with Trump’s base of political support.”
To be fair, about 80% of the counties Hillary Clinton won also received some degree of aid, Bump says, but there are many fewer of them, given the concentration of her supporters in urban areas.
Overall, residents in more than 2,600 counties in the U.S. have received payments from the farm aid program, with the heaviest concentration in the Midwest.
A new study from the Bipartisan Policy Center says that Medicare would save $1.57 for every dollar it spends delivering healthy food to elderly beneficiaries who have recently been discharged from the hospital. The savings would come from a reduction in the rate of readmissions to the hospital for patients suffering from a wide range of common ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes and emphysema.
“If you were going to offer meals to every Medicare beneficiary, it would be cost-prohibitive,” said BPC’s Katherine Hayes. “By targeting it to a very, very sick group of people is how we were able to show there could be savings.”
The Taxpayer Advocate Service – an independent organization within the IRS whose roughly 1,800 employees both assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the tax collection agency and recommend changes aimed at improving the system – released a “subway map” that shows the “the stages of a taxpayer’s journey.” The colorful diagram includes the steps a typical taxpayer takes to prepare and file their tax forms, as well as the many “stations” a tax return can pass through, including processing, audits, appeals and litigation. Not surprisingly, the map is quite complicated. Click here to review a larger version on the taxpayer advocate’s site.
Economists expected federal spending to boost growth in 2019, but some of the fiscal stimulus provided by the 2018 budget deal has failed to show up this year, according to Kate Davidson of The Wall Street Journal.
Defense spending has come in as expected, but nondefense spending has lagged, and it’s unlikely to catch up to projections even if it accelerates in the coming months. Lower spending on disaster relief, the government shutdown earlier this year, and federal agencies spending less than they have been given by Congress all appear to be playing a role in the spending slowdown, Davidson said.