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Who is in Charge of American Express Small Business Loans, Dr Smith?

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in The Business of Business Finance

I still remember my mother telling me I should not hate anyone, but I hated Dr Zachery Smith.  Do you remember?  He was the cause of problems, putting the Robinson family in constant danger because of his greed and stupidity.  However, after a crisis passed, he would deflect blame and try to grab any available credit.

I got the same feeling last night after watching an American Express ad forecasting a light at the end of the economic recession and the rebirth of a new and better small business economy.  Clearly, their Dr Smith moment. 

Reality is that American Express cut credit limits to small business owners in their moment of need.  This not only limited available credit, it cause credit scores for many to drop and their cost of capital jump.  In other words, Amex was part of small business’ problem, not a solution.  When times were tough and the recession was scaring many business owners, Amex cut their risk and ran for cover.  Owners were looking for small business loans and working capital while Amex was taking them away. 

Now that things are looking brighter, they want to be a resource and a friend.  Until when…?

I understand weakness and fear, we’ve all experienced that at one time or another.  I understand Amex wanting to protect their balance sheet.  What I do not tolerate well is Amex boldly proclaiming they are part of the solution now that the future looks brighter.  I did not like it when I was a kid watching Lost in Space and I do not like it now when my business is on the line.

Did you have your credit cut by Amex or another credit card company?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

syra November 2, 2010 at 1:39 am

There are several steps while closing a business. Meeting with lawyers to discuss our opportunities and liabilities for installation advice to approach the owner, the options of bankruptcy Talk, suppliers of review we pay money, and all contracts. Journal of the company outstanding commitments, and is personally committed. Meeting with the bankruptcy attorney and explore other options, prepare an inventory of all the large items in the store – Slick sheets with photos and descriptions. Explore options for leasing. Sign breakeven spreadsheets transaction costs vs. a buyout offer. Meet the owners and discuss options for closing, and if he is willing to work with us.


Sicbiz August 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

Who is the Crains Reporter? Let’s put it on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace everywhere. Have many friends with the same story. Many are doctors and businesses with hundreds of thousands, even millions in assets. AE is just closing down all lines up to the amount you owe.


Sicbiz August 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

Just spoke to ae about reduction. Same story as those above, always current since 1995. First credit line discontinued now credit limit reduced to amount owed. (16,000 to 7500) They claim they only use the Experion rating. I won’t use them again, and I plan to only pay the minimum from now on.


Todd August 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

You are not alone. Spoke to Crain’s reporter yesterday who’s doing research and has dozens of similar stories. WSJ ran story on page D1 “Cardholders get rude surprise at register” discussing the same thing…


Tanya August 13, 2009 at 1:58 am

Yes I did on 2 of my Ames business accounts. 16K down to $3700. Ihave been in great standing for 15 years never late, then boom. I’m very angry with Amex. and will never use them again


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