Credit Crunch in Fresno

October 3, 2008 6:52:28 PM PDT
The aim of the Wall Street bailout is to shake the economy out of a long slumber, and valley business owners hope that happens sooner, rather than later.Linda Dawson shows her creations, "This is our super s'mores. These are made back in our kitchen." Dawson makes sweet treats at her Northeast Fresno chocolate shop, but business is turning sour. Sales are down. Getting a loan is nearly impossibly forcing Dawson to dip into retirement savings to keep her doors open. Dawson said, "If my money holds out until we can get through this crisis and the government does what they're suppose to be doing ... then that will help me and I can start building it back up."

Businesses often rely on loans when revenue stops flowing. Bryan Moe works with developing small businesses. He said entrepreneurs like Dawson can survive by making banking personal. Moe said, "If you go to the bank and make your deposit and leave everyday and not build relationships with your banker ... you're making a mistake, because in the future you might need this person."

Development of Hotel Fresno is another victim of the credit crunch. The project stalled because owners could not find financing to renovate the historic building. Dawson hopes lending and spending resumes after the government bailed out Wall Street. Dawson said, "Well I think that will give people more secure feelings about letting loose of a little more money."

Retail business owners usually rely on a busy holiday season to boost profits, but in this economy, the ability to buy is predicted to be dismal.

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