Across the country, commercial and consumer credit is tightening - creeping into the everyday lives of American consumers and businesses.
Below are some examples of how the economic crisis is already hitting Main Street
1. “In D'Iberville, Miss., Fayard's Grocery owner Rusty Quave is waiting to find out if he'll receive a deferral on loan payments that will mean the difference between staying in business and going under for his general store. For now, Quave has shortened the store's operating hours and temporarily stopped selling gas and diesel as he tries to cut his daily operating costs enough to stay afloat.” [CNNMoney, 9/25/08]
2. In Michigan, Bob Trezise, president of the Lansing Economic Development Corp., described how the crisis on Wall Street is impacting the ability of small businesses in his hometown to get loans: “It doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the product or the condition of the local market. The money is cut off.” [Lansing State Journal, 9/26/08]
3. The nation's largest Chevrolet dealer closed all 14 dealerships blaming the economic crisis. The Georgia company had five dealerships in its home state and others in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Arizona. [AP, 9/24/08]
4. Vicki Sanger, a residential real estate developer in Colorado, is now having to use personal credit cards, with double-digit interest rates, to complete the building of roads and sidewalks in a development because “loans are basically frozen… the banks are just not lending.” [New York Times, 9/26/08]
5. Car sales are down for the 10-straight month. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner pins the blame on tight credit: “Anything they can do to loosen up that logjam for automotive credit is going to help from the standpoint of production, employment and demand for vehicles.” [Reuters, 9/25/08]
Democrats have insisted from Day One on substantial changes to the original Bush-Paulson plan to ensure American taxpayers are protected and the interests of Main Street are addressed. Democrats have been successful in ensuring that these priorities are included in the bipartisan plan under development:
- Strong independent oversight and transparency;
- Limits on excessive compensation for CEOs and executives of participating financial institutions;
- Making sure that taxpayers share in any profits resulting from the government's help;
- Actions to prevent the foreclosures that are driving down home values across America.