Business leaders tell Hagan access to money tight


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.

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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.