ST. LOUIS - More than 200 current and prospective small business owners, lenders and community representatives gathered in November at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to discuss the issue of expanding access to capital and credit in the St. Louis region. Small business owners also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with loan officers from participating lending organizations.
The event was co-sponsored by the St. Louis Fed, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), and St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association (RCGA).
“As you look around St. Louis, and around the country, there are glimmers of hopes that we are emerging from the Great Recession,” said Steve Johnson, executive vice president of the RCGA, in his welcoming remarks. “However, we have a whole lot of ground to make up. Common wisdom says that small businesses will be the engine to drive employment growth that will help us catch up, and small businesses obviously need capital to grow—more capital that what you can temporarily place on your credit card.”
The general session included presentations from Julie Stackhouse, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis senior vice president, on Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch,”; Lorraine McKinney, U.S. Small Business Administration lead lender relations specialist, and Jason Ramsey, Missouri State Treasurer’s Office relationship manager, with an Overview of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010; and John Blum, U.S. Small Business Administration regional international trade manager, with an Update on Missouri State Loans and Incentive Programs.
During concurrent breakout sessions, participants could choose to attend a presentation entitled “Tapping New Sources and Exploring New Models for Business Capital Formation,” which focused on developing a new finance system in the St. Louis region for start-up and high-growth businesses, primarily in science and technology. Alternatively, they could take advantage of an opportunity to meet one-on-one with loan officers from participating lenders.
Welcoming Remarks | General Session
Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch | Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Overview of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 | Lorraine McKinney, lead lender relations specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration and Jason Ramsey, relationship manager, Missouri State Treasurer’s Office
Update on Missouri State Loans and Incentive Programs | John Blum, regional international trade manager, U.S. Small Business Administration
Grow Me State Initiative: Fostering Tech-Led Economic Development with Equity Capital | Jay DeLong, vice president, Regional Commerce and Growth Association, moderator
Innovation Works | Rich Lunak, president and CEO, Innovation Works
Jumpstart | Michael Mozenter, president, Jumpstart Community Advisors
Capital Formation | Jason Hall, director, Missouri Technology Corporation