Have current low financing rates affected your business decisions?
Published January 1, 2002 | January 2002 issue
Regarding ranching, we've refinanced one of the ranches, which we purchased
two years ago. As far as the actual marketing of land or commodities,
we have not varied our aim in the past six months. In fact, it's been
the same as the past eight years. From the retail side, it hasn't really
affected us from our side of the coin. From the consumer's side, there's
product that we've moved as a repercussion of thatmore appliances
and electronics. My family business is solvent. ...Our [Miles City] economy
always stays the same. We've had 8,500 people living here since the late
1800s. We've had, hands down, the best retail year.
Todd Steadman, Rancher and Co-owner
ACE Family Hardware StoreMiles City, Mont.
Yes, we've purchased some equipmenta new truck with
zero percent financing and some other equipment due to the low financing
rates. Not to say that I wouldn't have done so anyway, but I wouldn't
have made the purchases if the cost was too high. I just hope the rates
stay down because it's good for business and creates more homes for people
Jim Nelson, Owner
Woodworking Innovations Inc.Bismarck, N.D.
Overall, not to any great degree. We're in the auto glass
business. We're not that capital intensive. We don't need to buy lots
of machinery and tools. When the rates are lower it does improve our business
performance. Most of our financing is done on a floating rate, when the
prime rate goes down, so do our rates.
Steve Snider, Chief Financial Officer
Mid-America Auto GlassBloomington, Minn.
We probably are a little more lenient on inventory. We use
a line of credit to get inventory and we're less lenient to get more.
Our business has stayed fairly seasonal, but we've had a good second half
[of 2001]. Some of the economic impacts in the rest of the country affect
us more slowly because we're not a metro area.
Steve Marek, Vice President of Financial Operations
Forty-one Lumber, HeadquartersQuinnesec, Mich.
As a company, it's a factor but it hasn't impacted anything.
We're not buying more equipment. We don't do it based on what we see,
but based on need. Twenty percent of our business is new construction
and 80 percent is remodelingthey're the ones spending that cheap
money. That's what's keeping Sioux Falls going. We don't have the lag
that other areas do. When you hear recession, you think recession. When
it's lifted and small businesses feel better about the economy, buying
equipment will be an easier decision to make. We're not in that bad shape
down here. If it doesn't get any worse than this, we're going to be okay.
Small businesses aren't affected the same as larger ones.
Ted Konechne, President
South Dakota Home Builders AssociationSioux Falls, S.D.
No, it doesn't seem to affect my way of doing business or
my customers. We haven't increased but we haven't decreased. Most sales
in the gift industry are down 20 percent this year from last year ,
but mine hasn't dropped. It's making me happy that I can at least hold
my own. I don't do my [inventory] adjusting by the economy, but by my
customers. Linda Volkman, Owner
The Christmas StoreFrederic, Wis.