Lines of customers are more important than lines of credit right now, for Wisconsin’s small businesses. The small business sector accounts for most of the new jobs created in Wisconsin and the nation, but Bill Smith, state President of the National Federation of Independent Business, says there’s problem – and it’s not a lack credit from the financial sector. “The number one problem for small business is sales,” Smith said Thursday in Madison. “We need customers coming through the front door, more than we need new lines of credit.”

Smith says for  now, “the small business job machine is stuck in reverse,” and that has a big impact on the larger economy. “Seventy percent of the gross domestic product deals with consumer spending power,” said Smith. “If we don’t have customers coming through our front door, buying things, we’re not going to get this economy going very quickly in the short term.” Smith said, despite a recent increase, confidence in the small business sector remains at a historic record low. He said uncertainty over the impact of policy being considered in Madison and Washington has a lot to do with that.

Smith was a panelist for a forum on business credit availability, sponsored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “What small business needs is lines of customers, and when they get more customers, and those customers start buying, small business will be able to make capitol purchases, invest in their inventory and do more hiring, and they’ll show up in your banks looking for more loan activity,” said Smith.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)

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