Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke | Summary and Q&A

August 3, 2010
Federal Reserve
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Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke


Small businesses face challenges accessing credit, impacting job creation and economic recovery. Collaboration is needed to address these issues.

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Key Insights

  • 👨‍💼 Small businesses are vital for job creation, employing a significant portion of the workforce and contributing to gross job creation.
  • 💳 Access to credit remains a challenge for small businesses, with credit conditions tightening and a decrease in loans from banks.
  • 😀 Collaborative efforts are necessary to address the diverse needs and challenges faced by different types of small businesses.
  • 👨‍💼 Declining collateral values, credit lines, and working capital were identified as critical financial needs for small businesses.
  • 👨‍💼 The return to more traditional underwriting standards may have made it harder for some creditworthy businesses to obtain necessary loans.


Chairman Bernanke >> Ben Bernanke: Let me begin by thanking the staff of the Board's Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, especially to Divisions Director Sandra Braunstein, for the hard work they've done to prepare for today's discussion about approving access to credit for sound small businesses. And thanks also to the many partners who he... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why are small businesses crucial for job creation?

Small businesses employ about half of all Americans and account for about 60% of gross job creation in the economy.

Q: How has the Federal Reserve supported small business financing?

The Federal Reserve facilitated the flow of credit through programs like the Term Asset-backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), financing over 850,000 small business loans.

Q: What are some challenges faced by small businesses in accessing credit?

Small business owners highlighted declining collateral values, a need for credit lines and working capital, and difficulty obtaining loans for expansion or even to continue operating.

Q: How can lenders assess the credit quality of businesses in an uncertain economic environment?

Lenders need to balance traditional underwriting standards with the recognition that some creditworthy businesses may have lost collateral value but still have strong cash flows. Collaboration with regulators can help lenders make informed lending decisions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Reserve organized a series of meetings across the country to discuss the financing needs of small businesses.

  • Participants highlighted the importance of stable financing for small businesses in sectors like the auto industry and Hispanic-owned businesses.

  • Credit conditions remain difficult for small businesses, with a decrease in loans from banks and challenges in accessing necessary capital.

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