Forward Thinking

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Business ownersIt’s no secret that with today’s economic situation, small businesses are suffering. Well, IBM is stepping in to help. The multinational technology and consulting firm has announced that it will provide $1 billion in financing to help credit-qualified small and medium businesses (SMBs) over the next 18 months. This effort is aimed to help SMBs spur innovation and drive economic growth by making credit more easily accessible, with approvals often in less than 60 seconds, through IBM Global Financing (http://www-03.ibm.com/financing/us/index.html). 



For IBM, the program will not only help SMBs but also the technology industry. “Ultimately, giving SMB organizations access to capital is critical for both the IT industry and the economy as whole because, as IBM notes, 90 percent of the work- force is employed at SMB organizations that account for 65 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP),” explains Ed Abrams, vice president of IBM Midmarket Business. “The time is right. We see an increasing demand for the ability to consume leading-edge technologies in a new kind of way.”



Despite the fact that small businesses are vital to the workforce of America, according to the Small Business Administration, more than 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years due to lack of capital. 

Under the new initiative, IBM will offer flexible lease and loan packages, some starting at as low as 0 percent for 12 months. This will allow the approved companies to immediately acquire the IBM technology and services they need to begin to transform their businesses.

This financing will be made available to SMB clients through IBM Business Partners who can benefit from enhanced online financing tools to generate price proposals and get fast approvals for credit applications for SMB clients.  

IBM is also launching a set of solutions, which include workload optimized systems combining hardware and software and service offerings focused on technologies, such as Cloud, analytics, collaboration and security, specifically designed to address SMB’s key needs. Clients can take advantage of these new technologies with no money down and by simply making monthly or quarterly financing payments. The new solutions also include analytics for SMBs to tackle “Big Data” challenges to help better extract insight and spot trends to make better business decisions and identify new market  opportunities. 

This move by IBM is out of necessity, notes Abrams. “These companies are the engines of economic growth and by helping them to succeed, IBM is ensuring that they remain innovators and leaders in their space,” he says.