Monday, August 3, 2009

Can Merchant Cash Advance Demand Be On The Rise As Small Business Confidence Rises For Second Consecutive Month In Spite of Cash Flow Concerns?

The nature of the merchant cash advance product requires business owners to have a positive need for this alternative financing product. What consititues a "positive need"? Typically functions associated with "expanding" such as opening up a new business / new location, buying additional inventory, advertising / marketing, renovating, etc. which obviously does not occur as frequently in a down economy. The merchant cash advance industry has seen a decrease in demand for the product since early 2009 which I attribute to a lack of small business owner confidence.

One positive sign that may show this trend flattening out or even reversing slightly is that economic confidence among small business owners rose for the second consecutive month, although concerns about being able to pay their bills jumped significantly in July as measured by the latest Discover® Small Business WatchSM. The index rose to 82.1, up from 80.9 in June.

One part of the report that I found very interesting was:

"Those who are borrowing aren't using traditional sources. When asked if they have applied for new credit cards, lines of credit or loans, 82 percent said they had not, while 17 percent said they had and 2 percent weren’t sure. Of those who did apply for loans or credit, 44 percent said their applications were approved, 31 percent were rejected, 7 percent were pending and 18 percent weren't sure."

While I don't think 82% of the people utilized a merchant cash advance when indicating they weren't using "traditional sources" - it reiterates the need for alternative financing solutions such as the merchant cash advance.

It will be interesting to see what happens if small business confidence continues to rise. My theory is there will be a direct correlation to business owners looking to "expand" again and thus seeking alternative financing options such as a merchant cash advance as traditional business loan products are still very challenging for business owners to obtain.

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