Why a good relationship with a lender can benefit small businesses

Relationships matter. But they matter more when the nation isn’t in the clutches of recession.

That’s the gist of a study by a University of Missouri researcher, who found that small businesses that have a good relationship with a financial institution are more likely to have a loan application approved.

It seems pretty intuitive. But researcher Tansel Yilmazer says there’s more to it than that.

“The findings suggest that when in a recession, such as now, when loan rates are already low, good relationships between the business and the financial institution do not really matter,” she said. “However, when in an economic expansion, positive relationships allow loan officers to lower the loan rate.”

It goes both ways. A business is also more likely to apply for a loan if the owners feel they’ve established a good relationship with their lender.

— Amy Rolph, www.heraldnet.com/TheStorefront

Boeing to have $6 billion impact in S.C. each year

The South Carolina economy will see an economic benefit of about $6 billion annually from the Boeing Co.’s 787 factory there.

A new study released today by an economist found that state will benefit more from Boeing’s 787 final assembly factory than initially expected.

Last year, Boeing selected Charleston, S.C., as the site of its second 787 final assembly line. The original line is here in Everett.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney talked briefly about the South Carolina factory during an investors conference today.

Ultimately, the South Carolina “facility will be self-sufficient” and be able to continue producing 787s in the event of a labor strike in the Puget Sound region, McNerney said.

— Michelle Dunlop, www.heraldnet.com/aerospaceblog

Small businesses may qualify for tax credit

Millions of small businesses will qualify for a tax credit, courtesy of the nation’s new health-care policy.

The credit covers up to 35 percent of an employer’s cost, as long as the company doesn’t have more than 24 employees and doesn’t pay an average salary of more than $50,000.

Check your mail.

If a business is eligible, it should receive a postcard outlining some of the details.

Government officials estimated earlier this week that as many as 4 million businesses could be eligible, according to the Washington Post.

Not every eligible business will able to cash in right away. Those not currently offering insurance will become eligible when they extend coverage benefits to employees.

— Amy Rolph

Boeing delivers 777F to Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has received the first of three 777 Freighters from the Boeing Co.

Boeing handed over the freighter on May 17, the company said today. This is the 23rd 777 Freighter that Boeing has delivered since February 2009.

“The 777 Freighter will expand on the great track record that Qatar Airways’ 777 passenger airplanes have established,” said Marlin Dailey, Boeing’s vice president of sales for commercial airplanes.

Qatar Airways currently operates 17 passenger 777s.

— Michelle Dunlop

Credit card rates rise for small businesses

The average small business is a bigger risk than most consumers. At least, it looks like that’s how major credit card companies see it.

Interest rates for small-business lines of credit jumped 13.7 percent over the past six months, according to a study by consumer site BillShrink.com. The increase to consumer interest rates during that time? About 2.4 percent.

According to USA Today, the report is stirring up trouble in Congress, where lawmakers are talking about how to protect small businesses.

The American Bankers Association told USA Today the rising rates reflect the perceived risk.

— Amy Rolph