PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Access to Capital and Credit: Solutions for Amazon Sellers

By at 19 October, 2023, 2:33 pm

SMALL BUSINESS INSIDER

by Raymond J. Keating –

Free enterprise is just as much about cooperation between businesses as it is about competition. My recent visit to Seattle for the Amazon Accelerate conference made clear that economic and business reality, as Amazon partners with small business sellers that account for more than 60 percent of the sales at Amazon.com.

One of the most interesting examples of this cooperation that I learned about was the Amazon small business lending program.

Make no mistake, access to credit and capital to sustain and grow small businesses is an ongoing challenge for a majority of entrepreneurs. As noted in SBE Council’s most recent Small Business Checkup Survey (Q3 23):

“Two-thirds (62%) rate credit availability as fair or poor, with 33% considering it excellent or good. Almost half (49%) believe the lack of credit or access to capital is hampering their operations.” (See the following two charts from the survey.)

Amazon, however, has been able to leverage its considerable resources to create an Amazon Lending program, whereby small business sellers in the Amazon store are able to apply for financing. This program makes enormous sense given, again, that many small and even medium-sized businesses have a hard time gaining access to credit and capital, not to mention the fact that the process of trying to access such funds can be costly in terms of time, energy and other resources. The process for Amazon sellers is easier, in particular since they are doing business directly with Amazon and therefore Amazon understands the nature and state of their businesses.

For Amazon sellers, therefore, the Amazon Lending program can be a viable avenue to gain access to funds for growth.

The lending program is another example how large businesses and small businesses cooperate and partner to their mutual benefit in the marketplace – contrary to misguided assumptions often heard among elected officials who mistakenly see big business inherently bad and anti-small business.

Of course, when government attacks large businesses those firms don’t operate in a bubble, but instead serve, partner with and cooperate with small businesses. Our economy is not set of separate islands, but instead, it is intimately intertwined, and government costs hoisted onto one set of businesses wind up affecting other businesses, and of course, consumers. The reality of our intertwined economy was on full display at Amazon Accelerate in Seattle.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest books on the economy are The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist and The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.

 

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