The large international chains that are borrowing substantial amounts of money—tens of millions of dollars—are having an easier time securing money than the smaller owner operators. At the franchisee level, credit is still very tight.
We see the economy recovering quickly and consumer spending improving at a much healthier pace than the pace that lenders are opening up their wallets again to business owners. In terms of what potential borrowers need to keep an eye on, lenders are focusing more on credit and credit scores. It’s important for business owners to make sure their business credit and personal credit are as healthy as they can be. They also need to make sure they’re as current as they can be with their vendors, with their landlords, and that they’re caught up with payroll and sales tax. Lenders are looking more at owners’ relationships with vendors, making sure they’re healthy.