Submitted by Jen Jones on Sun, 08/08/2010 - 11:04am
You might have seen reports that federal stimulus funding has stemmed the tide of school layoffs, has caused a marked increase in roadside construction projects, or has brought about broadband to areas preciously unable to get it; but many of the beleaguered masses are searching for more direct benefits from stimulus spending.
Well, now it seems your local retailers aren’t waiting around for an economic rebound, they’re taking the concept of economic “stimulus” into their own hands with programs poised to get you spending in their stores, while providing more substantial savings for your trouble.
As The New York Times is reporting, “Stores like Sam’s Club, Target, Toys “R” Us, Staples and Office Depot are offering unconventional promotions meant not only to attract visitors to stores, but also to get them feeling profligate. Sam’s Club is introducing a program in which it facilitates loans for shoppers of up to $25,000, backed by the Small Business Administration. Target will give its credit card holders 5 percent discounts. Toys “R” Us is instituting a holiday fund program where it adds to shoppers’ savings, and Staples and Office Depot are giving away office products for a penny or at no cost. ‘A lot of the government programs have come to an end,’ said David Bassuk, a managing director in the global retail practice at AlixPartners, a financial consultancy. “So retailers are taking it upon themselves to do everything they can to get the consumer to spend, even opening up their own wallets to give money back to the consumer.’”
But getting consumers to spend right now isn’t a simple prospect; unemployment remains at double-digit figures in many states across the country, with the economy unable to keep up as millions remain jobless and hundreds of thousands lose their unemployment benefits.
Still, retailers remain hopeful following news that personal income and savings are on the rise in the past several months. As such, stores are hoping consumers will part with some of their hard-earned cash when offered major over-the-counter offers, including the aforementioned enhanced discounts, giveaways and, in the case of Sam’s Club, even loans.
According to The New York Times, “Sam’s has done only a small test of the S.B.A. loans, and so far about 200 people have applied, with about 45 percent being approved, said Tim Jochner, chief executive and founder of Superior Financial. Sam’s is considering offering other financial products through third parties to help ease customers’ finances, like working-capital loans or peer-to-peer loans, said Hiren Patel, director for financial services at Sam’s….Of course, smart shoppers can take advantage of these programs without necessarily improving the stores’ revenues.”
In fact, some heady shoppers are taking retailer’s like Sam’s up on their low-interest loans, without using the money they save for anything but more savings. Yet, while a low-interest loan may be a good thing for someone struggling with a small business, more loans, discounts and giveaways that entice greater consumer spending—while great for the economy and retailers—can lead average Americans down the path to more debt in very uncertain economic times.
If you find yourself struggling financially, your next best bet is not to take out loans or spend more on retail sales, but to find permanent relief from your economic woes. In fact, if you’re drowning in debt and looking for a way out, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney is the first best step to help you regain your power, conquer creditors and face your financial fears, yielding—all with the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.
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