By Carol Leonetti Dannhauser
You should start a business; everyone tells you so. Perhaps you and a pal want to join forces and incorporate as an LLC. Or maybe you’d like to open a storefront on Main Street and sell your gadgets, products or services. You don’t anticipate million-dollar returns, and you don’t need much to get started, not even six figures. We’re flush with financing here in lower Fairfield County, it seems; surely some bank will believe in your idea enough to lend you some money, right?
Not necessarily, says at least one local business expert. “The lending environment has changed dramatically, especially for small businesses,” reports Fran Pastore, president of the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) in Stamford. “Since the recession, access to loans under $100,000 has decreased by 30 percent, and the number of loans approved has declined by 70 percent.”