Have current low financing rates affected your business decisions?

District Voices

Published January 1, 2002  | January 2002 issue

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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 that—more 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 Store—Miles City, Mont.

Yes, we've purchased some equipment—a 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 to furnish.
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 Glass—Bloomington, 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, Headquarters—Quinnesec, 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 remodeling—they'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 Association—Sioux 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 [2000], 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 Store—Frederic, Wis.