Local loans issued through the Small Business Administration's popular 7(a) guarantee program plunged by an astonishing 64
percent for three of the city's four largest banks during 2009, while overall lending in the program slipped 17 percent in
the metro area.
There's a smorgasbord available for small businesses in the federal stimulus package. The trick is figuring out how to get a plate. Plenty of local experts are serving up access to the buffet. And some entrepreneurs are digging in. But others consider the
stimulus warmed-over leftovers.