Those who aspire to own the next Miss P, the beagle who stunned the world by winning Best in Show, need to know the “Cost of Getting a Show Dog to Westminster” to budget accordingly.
The investment in a show-quality dog runs $5,000-$8,000. Show fees will tap owners entering 10-15 shows per month as much as $5,400.
Handler fees add up, depending on Rover’s success rate. Annually, these fees can cost “$24,000 and up if your dog wins often.” Toss in grooming charges, boarding fees, travel expenses, and advertising, and top dog status “can easily run you $50,000 to $100,000 a year.”
Still, “the dog show industry could be an ideal choice for a career or small business,” notes yourbusiness.azcentral.com. “…the best dogs can win thousands of dollars…”
What’s a dog lover to do?
This week, get a leash on today’s small business climate.
‘Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.’ —Gene Hill, writer
Is small business lending in the doghouse?
“Good News and Bad News on Small Business Lending in 2014,”says the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “Last year brought better news for U.S. small businesses” due to the improved financial conditions and lending environment.
Yet, “better” is relative.
Big business loans skyrocket, but for small businesses, “the volume of small loans…dropped significantly between 2008 and 2012, and has barely recovered.” Surveys cited by FRB-Cleveland show “weaker demand for credit.”
Small businesses are critical to economic growth, and adequate credit is essential. “Policy makers should not lose sight of the trends related to small business credit, even with the recent positive reports.”
“In one area…the economy seems to be in serious trouble—and that’s entrepreneurship,” says The Washington Post. New business creation in the U.S., at a high about 10 years ago, “plunged more than 30% during the economic collapse” and recovery is slow, despite population increases among those 25-55 years old—prime business starting age.
Meanwhile, “business deaths now outpace business births for the first time since…the late 1970s,” which is problematic because “young businesses account for nearly all net new jobs…created annually.”
Debt-ridden, non-home-owning millennials find it incredibly difficult to explore business ventures.
“Small Business Lending is Up Again, Depending Upon the Lender,” says smallbiztrends.com. Big banks remain lending big dogs; small business loans from large banks met approval 21.3% of the time in January, “and the uptick in approval rates continues a trend.”
Small banks “report sluggish approval rates,” at 49.7% in December, marking “the third month in a row in which small banks turned down more loan requests than they approved.”
See also “Small Business Lending in the United States 2013,” per the SBA. “Both the dollar amount and volume of small business loans have been in positive territory simultaneously…(but) the pace of recovery for small firms has been uneven over the last 15 quarters.”
Lending remains impacted by mergers and acquisitions of depository institutions, but “downward pressure on small business lending is easing.”
“In 2013, the total number of small business loans outstanding declined by 2.5%...C&I loans of less than $100,000 made up” 90.2% of small business loans.
Although this report doesn’t include credit unions, it provides an interesting analysis of other federally insured providers.
‘A dog…just does what feels right.’ —Barbara Kingsolver
Young pups have been appearing on the lending scene…
Online lenders take a bite out of the market, as fewer regulations allow for “faster lending decisions” and ability to “extend credit to a broader range of borrowers,” says American Banker. But these providers might soon “join the mainstream financial system” as they evaluate collaborating with banks.
Online lenders take risk outside regulators’ accepted levels. But as these providers “get more cost-efficient and smarter,” they will seek bank partnerships.
Indeed, regulatory requirements contribute to the success of PayPal and other nonbanks choosing to investigate business lending, says smallbizlabs.com. Opportunity exists for such entities as a result of the “steep decline in bank lending to small businesses.”
These lenders aren’t cheap, however. “PayPal’s merchant advances have a 25% effective interest rate.”
‘My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3 a can. That’s almost $21 in dog money.’ —Joe Weinstein, comedian
Access to credit and technology “may change the game,” says a Harvard Business School working paper. “Access to bank credit for small businesses…has continued in decline…as banks focus on more profitable market segments.” Challenges exist for borrowers and lenders alike due to issues such as lengthy application processes for borrowers, and limitations on type of industry for lenders.
Emerging online lenders are an attractive alternative, with “greater innovation in how small business loans are evaluated, decisioned, and managed.”
Certainly, small business owners and financial providers have much to consider in today’s lending environment.
See “3 Small Business Finance Predictions for 2015,” according to inc.com.
1. Institutional lenders will make a comeback as small businesses’ health improves;
2. Immigration reforms will affect small business financing; and
3. Mobile devices will become more integrated in small business lending.
‘Happiness is a warm puppy.’ --Charles M. Schulz
Meanwhile, sleeping dogs won’t lie as “SBA Partners with NCUA to Expand Small Business Lending through Credit Unions.” The collaboration “establishes a commitment to credit unions by helping them unlock their capacity to deliver SBA-guaranteed loans.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for credit unions and small business owners,” notes NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz.
Small dollar SBA business loans “do not count against credit unions’ business loan cap,” providing opportunity for credit unions to assist entrepreneurs, reach underserved members, and bolster local economies.
The outstanding balance of SBA credit union loans has risen almost 50% since 2011, from $810 million to $1.2 billion, indicating greater demand for SBA loans.
Ogden Nash said, “A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.”
The small business environment has been slow to recover. But even so, current circumstances allow great potential for borrowers and lenders to open doors.
LORA BRAY is an information research analyst for CUNA’s economics and statistics department. Follow her on Twitter via @Bray_Lora and visit the CUNA blog, “The Research Roundup: Economic Perspectives.”