'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; This pretty much summarizes the merchant cash advance industry industry the last few months - very quiet compared to previous years. Both from an industry news perspective and from levels of merchant demand compared to other years.
I'm hearing certain merchant cash advance provider's funding levels are down by as much as 40% from this time last year.
2009 was a very challenging year for many merchant cash advance providers - many losing their credit lines / funding sources. Some had to scale back considerably, others had to scale back 100% - meaning they shut down, layed off a large % of their staff, etc.
As I indicated in the middle of the year, many of these merchant cash advance providers could not sustain the huge losses they took by funding unqualified applicants in 2007/2008 or "crushed their cashflow" with too high of a withholding % to retrieve the future credit card receivables purchased.
One of the things I believe is needed to "jump start" demand for alternative financing products like a merchant cash advance from business owners in 2010 is the obvious - the economy needs to improve which will improve business owner confidence. The unemployment rate needs to decrease so consumers are spending more at their local businesses, hence giving local business owners a reason why they want to expand, buy more inventory, advertise/market, etc.
With all that said, there are a few good merchant cash advance providers still standing (no where near the number that there used to be) that make up 90% of the market. I still think 1 or 2 more will fall in 2010.
It will certainly be a interesting time in 2010 and I look forward to being one of the remaining industry leaders left in the merchant cash advance space.
From all of us at AmeriMerchant, we wish all the readers of the Merchant Cash Advance Blog, a Happy and Healthy Holiday and a very prosperous 2010.