Patty in the News

EVERETT -- Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., met with four local business owners Wednesday whose efforts to grow their businesses have been stymied by banks that won't loan them money.

Murray was there to say she has one answer to the problem -- a Senate bill that would provide $30 billion to community banks to loan to small businesses.

The bill has been stalled in the Senate in a partisan stalemate, and it will be at least until September before Congress can act.

The measure would provide higher loan guarantees for the lenders and lower fees for borrowers and is intended to help small businesses expand and hire more people. "We need to convince a few more people," Murray said Wednesday at Zippy's Java Lounge in downtown Everett.

Frank Lemos, owner of a Woodinville consulting firm, said the community banks are the place to put the money because "bigger banks are looking to buy smaller banks, not to make loans."

Rosario Reyes, owner of Las America Business Center in Lynnwood, said that despite 20 years of doing business, her line of credit was called by her bank. That dashed her dream of creating a business plaza and a training center for her nonprofit group.

Marilyn Rosenberg, owner of Zippy's Java Lounge in Everett had excellent credit but couldn't get a business loan to install a better sign and add other improvements to boost business.

Frank Lemos, owner of Land Development Consultants of Woodinville, has the work and the contracts, but can't get the loans he needs to improve his cash flow. Since larger corporations often don't pay until four months after the work is done, Lemos needs the loan to hire more workers until those payments are made.

Timothy Robinson's Applied Filter Technology Inc. in Snohomish converts biogas to energy and has a backlog of contracted work. But he said nobody will give him a loan to hire the workers he needs to grow. "We have to take all our profits and dump them into the business to meet payroll," Robinson said.

- Everett Herald