January 1, 2013

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Banking And Finance

Utah Business Staff

January 1, 2013

If you are a small business, if you’re a builder or contractor, is now the time to set up your lines of credit, et cetera. Or should they wait until the uncertainty gets resolved?

HOWELL: We are the No. 1 state in this country for business, and it’s because we have sound economics. We have good infrastructure. We have businesses that have been wise. I think the economy has come back. It’s not as robust as it has been. It is not a boom state, but it is a positive, growing place for business. The banking industry is ready to help those businesses because there are good opportunities. Rates are low right now. This is a good time to get in for businesses that have the right fundamentals and see some growth opportunities.

SALA: If you waited for the uncertainty to be resolved, you would never get in the pool. Whatever the uncertainty is today, 12 months from now it will be a different set of uncertainties. As people around this table are leading our businesses, we look for measured risk. And the amount of risk we want to take on will be directly correlated to the amount of uncertainty out there. It doesn’t mean we won’t take it on. We are just going to take it on at a different level. And right now, nobody wants to run at 60 miles an hour. But we still need to move forward.

CAMARELLA: What I would say to business owners today is that while the rate environment is attractive, shopping banks simply on interest rates is a very short-sighted strategy if you are a serious business owner who is in it for the long haul. If you really are serious, the cost of money obviously is an element of your banking decision; but it boils down to do you have a banking partner that understands your company, understands your goals, and is there to help you from an education point?

PETERSON: Now is the time to develop your plan, meet with your financial institution, develop that relationship, get things in place so that when you do want to execute, it’s ready to go and you’re not starting from scratch. Now is a good time to meet with your banker.

SHUMWAY: I disagree on interest rates. I don’t think interest rates change if you have a good relationship with your banker. Your banker wants you to succeed and they don’t want surprises. We are very happy when we get repaid. We find great reward in a win/win situation, both for small businesses and large.
Technology is changing. Banks have different ways of helping with cash management situations and all sorts of other things. So you should meet with your banker in good times or bad times, because both sides can help each other. Build the relationship—something long term.

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