Bailout blues. Need a loan? Get in line. That’s the message banks are sending to small business owners. Even though the unending, trillion-dollar bailout was supposed to loosen the credit markets, business owners with anything less than spotless credit are still coming away empty handed. This AP article profiles one contracting business that had $10.5 million in new orders in the pipeline. The only problem: the company needed a loan to staff up and purchase raw materials. But the banks balked and the company had to lay off 20 workers instead. With stories like these, it’s no wonder small business owners are disgusted with the so-called stimulus.
A cure for depression. Entrepreneurs are known for their upbeat, can-do attitudes. So it comes as no surprise that a new entrepreneurial outfit is attempting to make depression fun. Okay, we’re not talking about the economic depression. Nor are we referring to sleep-all-day, refuse-to-shower depression. We’re talking about “please-say-ah” depression. You know, like when you visit the doctor and they shove a wooden stick in your mouth. Turns out your average tongue depressor causes great fear and stress in small children. So two former dot-commers, Catherine Drogin and husband Peter, created FunDepressors to ease the anxiety. FunDepressors work like ordinary tongue depressors, but come in bright, kid-friendly designs. Adorned with hearts, smiley faces, soccer balls, and fire trucks, they have a calming effect on children and make it easier for doctors to conduct exams. The business is growing 20% annually, which is a sure-fire cure for any depression.
Bartering is back. Way back when — before housing bubbles, rogue hedge funds, and rampant bailouts — there was a kinder, gentler economic system in place. The local farmer would present a chicken to the pub keeper in exchange for a few pints of ale. It was called bartering, and everyone did it. Well, in our cash-strapped economy, bartering is back in fashion. Check out this article to see how business owners are staying solvent by exchanging goods and services.
Heidi Fleiss comes clean. Heidi Fleiss, the former Hollywood Madam whose client list included celebrities like Charlie Sheen, is finally cleaning up her act. Fleiss says she’s getting out of the sex business and is turning her entrepreneurial attention to clean energy. “That’s where the money is,” she said in a recent interview. “That’s the wave of the future.” A victim of the downturn, Fleiss has apparently given up on her previous dream of establishing an above-board brothel in the outskirts of Nevada. No word yet on what her new energy project will be, but we’re sure it includes plenty of hot air.