Local entrepreneurs didn’t let a little thing like the toughest economic recovery since World War II stand in the way of starting new businesses.
Despite the uncertainty in the economy, the owners of restaurants, coffee shops, and service firms that opened here over the past few years found myriad ways to finance their dreams.
They’ve had to be creative though, as banks pulled back on lending after real estate loan defaults led to losses on many banks’ balance sheets. Loans of less than $1 million from locally chartered banks, which primarily went to small businesses, fell each quarter in 2010 and so far this year. And only a very slim margin of those loans went to startups, according to Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.