Consumer confidence is vital for our economy and when consumers cut back, that means that sales slow to a trickle. When sales slow, that means companies cut back, have fewer hires and simply do not need the inventory, materials or money to invest in new equipment. When this happens small businesses feel the pain as much or more than large corporations.When Big companies watch sales plummet or profits drop, it affects stock price and that means it’s time to cut costs; the biggest cost is labor. That means layoffs and it means they must be careful of expenditures, so they tighten up on collections and terms and pay their bills slower. Often, corporations string out the little guy, the small business person and all the little small business people become literally banks, as they wait for their checks “in the mail” so they can pay their bills and employees too.Of course, small business people operate on narrow margins and must pay employees and when they can’t, they must let them go, this means job losses too. But did you know that small businesses employ 2/3 of the work force in America. And when small businesses cut back, that means they are not expanding, and there are fewer applications at the banks for business loans, even when the interest rates are very low, like they are now.Currently, this is the situation, commercial loans and small business loan applications are very low. Why? Well, for all the reasons above, plus the small business confidence level is equal or sometimes even less than that of the consumer.