Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tight Lending Practices Hinder Dorchester Economic Devleopment


You recall Ben Bernanke? The former Federal Reserve chairman? The guy who was in charge of America's entire money supply?

This week, Bernanke told an audience the mortgage market is so tight that even he is having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.  Bloomberg reports that when the audience laughed, Bernanke said, “I’m not making that up. ... I think it’s entirely possible” that lenders “may have gone a little bit too far on mortgage credit conditions."

We relay this story for one reason: the tight lending market is hindering economic development efforts here in Dorchester, it appears.

In recent months, the Times reported on plans to bring a cafe and bakery to Dorchester, as well as a serious attempt to build a bowling alley north of the current location of City Slickers Bar and Grill.

Both reports were accurate, but both have also hit a roadblock when it comes to financing, according to sources. (Note: Neither party was asked for comments by the Times.)

Since the banking crisis of 2008, banks and credit unions have become much more hesitant to lend to any home or business that presents even a small amount of risk.  Record low interest rates don't help, since there's a considerably smaller amount of reward for lenders to do business with borrowers without significant resources.  We can't say we blame the lenders for not wanting to stick their necks out.

This leads us to questions asked in a previous post:
  • What is the long-term plan to repair Dorchester's downtown structures? 
  • How do we encourage private owners to make the necessary improvements? 
  • Does Dorchester need a "building improvement fund" to match the efforts of business owners? 
Maybe the time has come for village leaders -- perhaps the good volunteers at the Dorchester Community Foundation -- to consider establishing a fund to help match the financial efforts of area businesses and entrepreneurs who want to do business in our town. Perhaps create a no-interest or low-interest loan program?

It's worth exploring.

7 comments:

  1. Jason and Hoshana GroppOctober 7, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I really wish that whoever writes this blog would have correct information before writing these stories. I don't know why the cafe/bakery isn't happening, but I'm sure it has more to do with the setup of the business that she looked at as opposed to no lending since it is a lease situation, and the bowling alley is still in the works if you want listen to the rumors around town, so you might want to actually talk to those parties before putting it on here. What really irritates us is that there are businesses here in town that can't make it or have depend on other towns to support them because our own town won't. We have had several bars/restaurants that don't succeed, be it because of their own faults maybe, but people in town also have to go to them. Or what about the candle and gift shop that didn't succeed because there was no support here. Coming from a current business owner that is also not supported by this town, I find this "article" amusing that it is lending to blame and the tight economic conditions. We have a food trailer and catering business that we have successfully run for over two years, not because we have gotten some "lending" but because we go to other towns that will support us. In fact we often feel unrecognized by this town and this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your input, Jason and Hoshana. Good information.

    Have you ever sent your business information to our e-mail address, Dorchester.Times@gmail.com? We don't recall seeing anything, but would be glad to promote your business if you give us some basics and a picture or two.

    Just like you, we can all feel a bit under appreciated at times. But we always stop to realize business, nor communication, happens by magic.

    -Dorchester Times staff

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jason and Hoshana GroppOctober 7, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Okay your right, I can send my information to you, but it still doesn't explain why this town refuses to support us, we have advertised in this town, we have been set up and open when the bars have been closed, we have put up flyers around town and advertised on the marquee several times and this town still doesn't support us. We've considered opening a small shop here but aside from the lack of real estate available and costly energy bills we feel that we wouldn't get the support from this town to stay open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm no business consultant or expert, but I'll bet you guys could get good support with better networking and marketing and a plan that involves other businesses. Don't get too down on our community, it's only 600 people remember, I didn't even know you guys were trying to sell in town because i've just seen you at auctions. I'd love to support you more often and more dorchester businesses. part of the problem is many small town businesses are trying to sell during "working man/woman's" hours. More small town biz needs to be open in evenings and weekends. Just my two cents.

      Delete
    2. Jason and Hoshana GroppOctober 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Well thank you anonymous for supporting us at sales and everyone else who supports us there we thank you as well. Its okay that you don't realize that we do more than sales, that's just where we got our start and have branched out since then. We don't open in town unless the bar is closed, because we simply can't compete with them, even when they are closed we barely get enough business to pay for the expenses of setting up for the day. We have tried hard to work with other businesses and groups but have been shot down with lousy excuses as to why they don't want us, so we simply go where we are requested which is other communities!! We would love to be a greater part of this community, like I stated above we have considered opening a small shop here in town but aside from no real estate available or usable for our needs and the extremely high cost of utilities especially in the older buildings without proper updates, this town really seems to have a one or the other mentality, at least that's our perspective over the last ten years of being in this community and we simply can't afford to spend the money to put something here that will fail because the community chose the other option. We're not putting our names out there to get a knee jerk reaction or to create waves, we just wanted to be heard and recognized for what we do and to say that there are other reasons that people choose not to bring business to this village besides lending. Without new people there aren't going to be new businesses. You are right there are only 600 people here and that's half the problem not enough people to support what we do have let alone anyone new to come in.

      Delete
  4. I happen to make it to Dorchester once a year from Arizona in September.We ate and drank at City Slickers Bar and Grill.I hear rumors about a bowling alley.I buy locally in my town and when I go to another town,I like to spend my money in that town to help out a little.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We had a grocery store at one time also. Why didn't it make it

    Just go to walmart and see.

    ReplyDelete

Village Dweller checks all reader comments to determine if they are appropriate for print.