In recent weeks we've been hearing a lot about government plans to help banks stay safe, secure, liquid, and in business. But are those programs actually working? Yes they are. And here is a great story to illustrate.
At a time when so many small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, two brothers are bucking the trend at their home and garden shop in Carmel, CA. Thanks in part to an influx of federal bank bailout money, Thompson and Beau Lange are actually using this time to expand and branch out.
The small business loan they received from First National Bank (FNB) is making that possible. And FNB is one of the local banks which received Troubled Asset Relief Program money. If it were not for TARP, FNB would not have been able to make a new business loan to the Langes. Without the loan, the brothers claim that they'd be "just 'hanging on' through this tough economy."
A $60,000 loan received in February from FNB saved the business and the jobs of its five employees. It also allowed them to sign a lease for expansion into a new garden store.
And other local businesses will benefit as well. As the business expands the home and garden shop will begin to carry patio furniture, fountains, pottery and orchids from the other local vendors.
So while the federal TARP money being loaned to banks has drawn criticism on some fronts, the Langes say those critics really don't see the bigger picture.
"The TARP money didn't just go to a bank," they say. "It will literally be spread throughout the community for products, supporting local businesses and their employees."
That is exactly what the stimulus money was intended to do.
(Thanks to reader Julie Cason for the tip on this story. Please keep those good news stories coming to firstname.lastname@example.org)
When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.