One Million Subscribers! An Antarctic Thank You from Shane Smith

Subscribe to VICE News here: VICE founder Shane Smith says thank you to our one million VICE News YouTube channel subscribers, all the way from Antarctica. Shane Smith Strips Down for 2,000,000 Subscribers! – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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Small Businesses Seeking Capital See Decrease in Big Bank Loans

small businesses seeking capital

After a positive run for much of the year, small business loans from big banks dropped in October for the first time in seven months. Small business loan approval rates from big banks to small businesses dropped from 20.6 percent in September to 20.4 percent in October, according to the October 2014 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.

The Lending Index from Biz2Credit takes a monthly look at small business lending trends. The data for the Lending Index is gleaned from an analysis of 1,000 loan applications at every month.

Big bank-to-small business lending approval rates had risen for seven consecutive months, through September. The 20.4 percent rate in October matches the same rate posted in August.

Though this new data represents a slight setback for small businesses, Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora says the October rate is still 20 percent higher than it was in November 2013.

Commenting on the official release issued with the Index results, Arora explains:

“Despite the small drop in approval percentages, big bank financing of small businesses is up nearly 20 percent in comparison to last November when the economy was reeling from the government shutdown. With improving economic conditions, entrepreneurs have shown willingness to invest in their firms more this year than in any other since the Great Recession of 2009-11.”

Some of the decrease in big bank loan approvals may have to do with an increased presence of institutional lenders moving into the marketplace.

Biz2Credit has only begun monitoring loan approval rates from institutional lending to small businesses since January but the approval rate has increased every month. That includes a jump to 59.7 percent in October up from 59.5 in September. Arora explains:

“People are seeking to do capital investments and are looking for money and shopping around. You can easily shop online and get longer terms. Institutional lenders have capitalized on the decreasing demand of short-term loans, which often came at a high cost and were granted by alternative lenders.”

As big banks are becoming more friendly to small businesses seeking capital to expand their operations however, institutional lenders continue to expand their support of small business.

Arora adds that reaching out to small businesses is helping institutional lenders connect with them. The competition means small business owners have options when it comes to choosing a lender. Arora adds:

“Big banks have demonstrated their commitment to small business owners over the last year. However, institutional lenders are moving into the marketplace and attracting some high quality borrowers.

But the weaker lending trend for small businesses continued at small banks last month, too. Approval rates from small banks to small businesses dropped from 50.3 in September to 50.2 percent in October. That’s a five-month slide for this lending segment, based on Biz2Credit’s data.

Small lenders are lagging in their pursuit of small businesses, Arora says. Big banks are attracting small businesses and making it easier to apply for a loan. He adds:

“Some smaller banks are paying the price for being slow to accept online applications. The increased competition from big banks and institutional lenders are hurting them because higher quality borrowers are going to these competitors instead of small banks.”

Alternative lender support of small businesses continues to dip, too. Biz2Credit’s data shows that approval rates from cash advance companies and other non-bank lenders dropped for the ninth straight month. That approval rate slipped from 62.6 in September to 62.1 percent in October.

The loan approval rate for small businesses through credit unions went up slightly last month, from 43.4 in September to 43.5 percent in October. Still, Arora believes that credit unions have become an “afterthought” for small businesses seeking loans.


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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – November 18, 2014

Subscribe to VICE News here: The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines.​ Today: Kenyan women demonstrate against sexual violence, former foreign minister of Burkina Faso appointed interim president, Thai police in search of American tourists who tried to ship preserved body parts to Las Vegas, and Polish scientists use 3D technology to treat disabled and autistic children. KENYA Protest Against Sexual Violence Draws Large Crowds in Nairobi Nearly a thousand women marched in solidarity with a woman who was stripped naked by a group of men almost two weeks ago. BURKINA FASO Former Foreign Minister Named Transitional President Michel Kafando will choose a prime minister to form a government until elections are held late next year. THAILAND American Tourists Questioned for Trying to Ship Body Parts A DHL shipping depot in Bangkok intercepted packages containing a baby’s head and foot, an adult heart, and a sheet of tattooed skin. POLAND 3D Technology Seeks to Improve Therapy for Children Scientists have created an application that they believe helps kids with Down syndrome and autism stay focused for longer periods of time. Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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Militant Somalia: The Fight Against al Shabaab (Trailer)

Subscribe to VICE News here: Al Shabaab has been a threat to Somalia for almost a decade. In 2013, the group claimed responsibility for the Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, where 67 people were killed. This signaled a shift in the scope of al Shabaab’s tactics, which until this point had been focused within Somalia, where the group was in control of much of the country. Over the past few years, with help from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), many cities that were once al Shabaab strongholds were taken back by Somali forces. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to Somalia in the wake of AMISOM taking back the coastal city of Barawe — where Ikrima, the man believed to be behind the Westgate attacks, resided — to investigate how al Shabaab evolved from a localized threat to a regional one. Check out “Land Wars: Ethiopia Accused of Massacring Civilians to Clear Way for Foreign Farms” – Watch “Al Shabaab and the Rise of Jihad in Kenya” – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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How Your Dentist Can Predict The Next Economic Downturn

next economic downturn

Dental appointments actually say a lot about the state of the US economy and can predict its future health.

According to a recent Businessweek article, patient visits per scheduled follow-ups, ratio of actual to projected fees for dental service, potential monthly revenue from suggested treatments, and accounts receivable per practice are all factors that gauge consumer confidence and have reliably predicted the direction of the economy for the last seven years.

Using these metrics, where is the economy heading in 2015? According to the dental index numbers, things may be pretty bleak:

Patients Aren’t Coming Back

For starters, August 2014 saw a dip in the number of follow-up dental visits patients kept. Dips also occurred 11 months before the 2008 recession and again in 2009 amid the recession. This would indicate a downward turn in the economy sometime in the middle of next year.

Patients are Not Getting Supplemental Dental Maintenance

Patients are rejecting services that supplement a traditional hygiene appointment, such as x-rays and more complicated maintenance because of cost. These numbers, which have stayed relatively constant over the past four years, are currently fluctuating and more closely resembling the 2007-2009 timeframe during the Great Recession.

Patients Aren’t Accepting Treatments

There is also a growing gap between the number of treatments dentists are planning to perform and the number of treatments patients are accepting to have done. History has shown that this gap occurs just before the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Patients Aren’t Paying on Time

Accounts receivables of dental offices are larger when the economy dips because patients and insurers are slower to pay. Accounts receivables are up 22 percent since last year and are close to 2008 levels.

Every small business owner should look at customer behavior inside their own business as pre-recession indicators. Are existing customers not coming back as often? Are they buying less than they used to? Are they not buying into suggestions of products and services? Have they stopped paying on time? This is quite common throughout a pre-recession economy and small businesses need to be especially wary of how this affects their cash flow.

Indicators such as the dental index may be the key to helping the US economy prevent a cavity!

Dentist Photo via Shutterstock

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