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News From the Control Tower - 6/22/2023 Thumbnail

News From the Control Tower - 6/22/2023

There’s lots of talk this week on the Fed’s actions (or lack thereof). Whether or not they’re skipping or pausing, their rapid rate hikes are definitely impacting small businesses – one of the bellwethers of our economy.

Previously, the Fed had said that they would hike rates until something broke. Was that the regional bank collapse we saw in March? Based on Powell’s recent comments, it doesn’t sound like that was broken enough for them. 

In the meantime, we are starting to see the bank squeeze impact small businesses. The Wall Street Journal this week featured the difficulties that one small ice cream business was having with securing financing.  Meanwhile The New York Times featured another small ice cream business, Ample Hills, who has had their own struggles in the aftermath of Covid.

Speaking of the bank runs this spring, many employees of those banks lost a lot of their retirement savings because they were over-concentrated in their employer’s stock.  We come across this tendency frequently with prospective clients, and would be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of the dangers of doing this.

Next, an interesting article about the evolution of advertising on social media: the app Duolingo (a former small business) and their “unhinged” approach to advertising as consumers move away from the TV.  

Finally, a piece on the one product becoming notorious for their social media advertising: Bud Light. I did not realize how popular Bud Light actually was, until they were dethroned recently by Modelo Especial as the most popular beer in the US.

Happy First Day of Summer – the best time to enjoy a cold one, of whatever stripe.  –Amanda Vaught

 1.       Banks Raise Roadblocks to Small-Business Loans

Lending standards are being tightened amid economic fears, leading some entrepreneurs to put plans on hold; ‘I’m devastated’

“I’m devastated.” Small businesses are finding it harder to get new loans as banks tighten their lending standards.

This article is also a podcast, if you prefer that format.

2.       After an Epic Meltdown, Ample Hills Creamery Aims to Rise Again

The Brooklyn-based ice cream chain boomed with the help of Oprah and Disney, then went bust. But the couple behind it are opening new shops and thinking small.

3.       Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank disappeared this year. So did the investments of many of their employees.

4.       Duolingo describes its marketing strategy as “unhinged.” And it is working

5.       How Modelo Dethroned Bud Light as America’s Top Beer

Demographic shifts and savvy marketing fueled the Mexican import’s rise; a Bud Light boycott finished the job