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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sen. Kay Hagan was in the Port City today to talk business. Hagan heard from area business and community leaders during a business roundtable, where the topic of access to capital was the main concern.

Wednesday’s roundtable started with smiles and laughs, but everyone’s attention quickly turned to business.

Hagan met with area business owners, bank executives, and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. Each addressed their concerns to the senator when it comes to economic growth. The most common concern was a lack of access to capital.

Business owners told the senator that it has become very difficult to find money that allows them to grow their companies.

“It appears that the large banks are doing well capitalwise. It appears the large corporations are doing well capitalwise, but small businesses are still stuck, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better,” Lumina Station Developer Joel Tomaselli said.

Hagan said the problems small businesses are having when it comes to accessing capital is being echoed across the state.

“You better believe I’ll be taking as my homework back to Washington to see what we can do to alleviate those concerns,” she said, “but we’ve got to be sure that in order to hire more people that our small businesses have the availability of barrowing money in order to increase capital, buy that new machinery, have those new facilities so they can hire more people.”

Hagan said while it shares similar problems with the rest of the state when it comes to business growth, the Cape Fear does have some advantages that can help businesses grow.

“Having the beaches, the river, the tourism, the Battleship, there are so many great things going on here that there is a great incentive for people to come here and work here and to grow their businesses,” Hagan said. “I think it’s a great area to be in.”

Though the area may be great to be in, business owners say money is the key to their growth.

Hagan, who recently joined the Senate Banking Committee, said she’s also looking into the strict financial rules and regulations that prevent small businesses from accessing funds.

Comment on this Story

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    After the past three years, banks are no longer willing to accept the risks they used to take – that applies to individuals and corporations. Any risk at all, regardless of how low, has to earn enough and more importantly, justify the “Gee, what if” scenario.

    The changes cover a broad spectrum, too. Some borrowers with good credit/D&B ratings have seen their lines of credit reduced because the banks never made enough off of them to justify accepting ANY risk at all. They paid the money back too quickly or never borrowed heavily against their line of credit. I, myself, was hit by that and saw a line of credit slashed almost in half because I always paid the money back too fast and rarely approached anywhere near the limit.

    So when a major bank does an analysis of their total extended lines of credit, consumer, commercial, and governmental, and suddenly realizes that the sum more than exceeds the total value of the bank’s holding corporation, you can understand why they started cutting and tightening. (That actually was the case at one mega-bank.)

    It’s not the end of the world. it just requires better ideas, better business plans, more modest ambitions, having all your ducks in a row at the meetings, a bit more patience, or a combination of all of them. If you have a sound plan backed up with verifiable numbers and can articulate your idea, you WILL find funding.

    Meanwhile HAG-an, who ticked off every bank by signing onto that idiotic “Financial Reform” law and has no power or credibility with the banks has hopes of them listening to the Senate’s pleas to losen up lending standards?


    When the government gets adversarial and attempts to put the screws to the banks, don’t be surprised when the banks tell the government to drop dead.

  • Guest

    Kay Hagan is anti-business, and has no intentions of doing anything to bring more business to NC or to help create jobs in the state. She is a Nancy Pelosi supporter, and patterns herself after Pelosi.


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