Alex Sink works to secure loans for small businesses listen02/18/10 Joshua Lee Holton
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Today more than a dozen small business owners gathered to hear financial advice form the stateâ€™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 Floridaâ€™s economy, and galvanizing job creation.
Small businesses play an important part in Floridaâ€™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 wasnâ€™t fond of the idea.
Eileen Rodriguez is the director of the University of South Floridaâ€™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.