Alex Sink works to secure loans for small businesses
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02/18/10 Joshua Lee Holton
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Alex Sink with members of Tampa's small business community


photo by Linda Smart

Today more than a dozen small business owners gathered to hear financial advice form the state’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. At the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Sink heard some of their struggles and optimism, while giving suggestions for improving Florida’s economy, and galvanizing job creation.

Small businesses play an important part in Florida’s economy. But Alex Sink says the unpredictable economic climate has made it difficult for businesses to get credit and capital.

So President Barack Obama is supporting an investment of $30 billion in TARP bailout funding to help community banks lend to small businesses. And Sink sent a letter to FDIC chair Sheila Bair to ask her to ensure the money is well spent.

According to Sink, the State Board of Administration could help by forgiving bad credit from the past year and a half, but the distribution of the bailout funds must be through the local banks. Sink thinks the loans should be made available quickly to help with business.

When asked about one of her rivals in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, Sink declined to even acknowledge Farid Khavari. He has suggested that Florida create a state bank. Sink wasn’t fond of the idea.

Eileen Rodriguez is the director of the University of South Florida’s Small Business Development Center, which seeks to help small businesses succeed.

Holly Tomlin works with a job placement organization, called Tomlin staffing. The unemployment tax has gone up six times for her business. She is concerned that some people worry about getting a job that may end their unemployment benefits.

According to Sink the two segments of the economy that currently provide the most employment opportunities are health care, and education. Sink says she plans to host at least 15 more round tables this year, as she tries to help small businesses secure credit in a volatile economic climate.

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spokesman, Khavari for Governor

Sink hears businesspeople tell her they can't get capital/credit. Then, when asked about the Khavari plan including a state bank, she says we have plenty of banks and they can meet the needs of business. FL's share of $30bln TARP money is about 2 bln, $100 per FL citizen. This will have no impact, at best a few thousand jobs. We need a MILLION In fact, $2 billion is almost 4 times LESS than the banks made in overdraft charges in FL last year. Over a MILLION are unemployed in FL and over 800,000 FL homes in foreclosure. Khavari has a plan to create a million FL jobs without subsidies and the proposed state bank will stabilize and rejuvenate the housing market as well as the entire economy, saving $100s of $1000s per family. Sink declines to even acknowledge Khavari? No surprise; she won't even answer a straight question on anything. As CFO she stood by while $10s of BILLIONS were lost by the SBA on phony deals. Crist, McCollum and Sink, as the 3 trustees, met twice a month for 15 minutes to oversee the SBA (per Crist, St. Pete Times). Most of us take more time than that on our household bills. Sink's well-publicized Blackberry crackdown nets $250K, enough to pay the interest on $50 billion for about 40 minutes. YAY! Now she's counting paper clips. You can bet the cost of counting them is 200x the cost of the paperclips. Here is a little advice to Ms. Sink: Take care of the tens of billions, and the paperclips can take care of themselves. What about a debate between Sink and Khavari with Rob Lorie as moderator?

Bravo Dr. Khavari

Sink is mouthpiece of the banks; she ran Bank of America's Florida division. People like her are criminals in my opinion, stealing the credit and assets that belong to the people. Banks create money out of nothing and loan it for interest. Do not vote for her. Send her back to the private interests she represents with a big kick in the bu##. Khavari's plan will work; it is working right not in North Dakota which created it's own state bank 100 yrs ago.