New FDIC hotline to help small businesses

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – More help is now available for small businesses in Virginia.  Senator Mark Warner has announced a new hotline to help business owners access credit. The move is expected to generate more funding for struggling companies.

While a number of small businesses in this area are thriving, it's not hard to find evidence of the need for more help. In Carytown for instance, a number of storefronts are vacant.

It's finishing touches time at JAKS, a new bagel shop that will open soon in Carytown.

We told co-owner Jackie Sharman about the new FDIC hotline, and she was ready to pick up the phone. It's designed to take a second look at denied or reduced loans. Senator Warner hopes to re-boot lending activity in a time when banks often see small businesses as too risky. Sharman wishes the hotline had been around when her family was looking for financial help with this start-up business.

"That would be incredibly helpful; the issue that we have found for small businesses is that banks want to see, and so do credit card companies, they want to see histories, they want to know that you have been in business for two years or more," said Sharman.

Even in this economy, the Sharmans have faith their business will succeed and fill a need for healthier breakfast options.

"With the amount of traffic that travels down Cary Street, approximately 14,000 cars a day drive down this street, so hopefully some of those people are hungry and want to stop in, so that's where we are at right now," Sharman said.

Just down the street, Bangles and Beads is still seeing good times despite the economy. The owners of this family-owned shop say they've taken some hits like most companies, but they likely won't be using the hotline. Instead, they hope the government goes even further to help out small businesses in Virginia.

"I think lowering regulations, taxes, things that cost us money in times that we are not receiving as much money would be more helpful; that's just my opinion," said Shirley Moore with Bangles and Beads.

Small business owners can also call this new hotline if they have concerns or complaints about their financial institution. The number to the new FDIC hotline at 1-855-FDIC-BIZ. That's 1-855-334-2249.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.