Getting money where your business’ mouth is

Over the last few years the economy hasn't been quite what it used to be. Consumer Reports said recently that spending was down even though people were feeling more optimistic about how the market was doing. Having reliable cash flow and financial tools are important to any business trying to stay ahead in this competitive economy.

The Consumer Reports Index found the most positive showing on consumer spending rates since September of last year, leading some to believe things are finally starting to really improve. In the south and northeast respondents reported a drop in financial concerns by 20 percent overall, citing fewer jobs lost and more employment opportunities for those seeking them. Most consumers aren't looking to make any big purchases in the near future, and while retail spending isn't feeling the kickback from more cheerful shoppers, it also hasn't suffered another drop.

Businesses are trying to secure commercial loans to keep their operations going. Biz2Credit's Small Business Lending Index found that approvals were down over 10 percent in the last month, possibly due to a lack of consumer spending or because SBA loans have decreased the guarantee levels. For some companies hoping for a loan as part of their long term financial plan, it could be devastating if a request is denied. In those cases it may be time to seek alternative funding or professional advice as reports show the economy is turning around, just not as quickly as some might want.

Though more hopeful for the future, the lack of consumer spending and increased borrowing is adding to the stagnancy of the market according to The Wall Street Journal. Experts don't know if this increased interest in credit cards and consumer loans is because of more confidence expressed as heightened purchasing ceilings or if it's a sign of instability and consumers need the credit to make ends meet.

"It's good for the economy in the short run." said Karen Dynan of Brookings Institution. She believes that individuals and businesses alike may be taking a risk by assuming they'll have  more means to pay back in the future but no plans for if that isn't the case.

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