2016 Year in Review

by Mike Semanco

2016: A Year in Review

2016 has been the year of headlines – some good, some bad, but many will be part of future history books! As we look back at the headlines that surround our region and industry, we can see positive movement within the State of Michigan and especially in the City of Detroit. The auto industry is busy leading the charge with the next wave of mobility. Both the technology and health care industries are making strides with new growth initiatives. The list goes on.

The finance industry has seen numerous changes this year as well. Bank mergers led the way with the combination of FirstMerit into Huntington Bank and Talmer into Chemical Bank. The Bank of Ann Arbor added the Bank of Birmingham to its stable and several institutions added offices in Detroit.shutterstock_485000230

2016 was the year of free-flowing capital and new lending solutions for businesses of all sizes. Venture capital, private equity, and family offices were all very active this past year. FinTech continues to disrupt the small business lending space as it can be a true alternative to financing early stage businesses. Although business owners have more financing options than ever before, they still need to proceed with caution. Not every financing solution is a good one and it must match with the needs of your business. I can not tell you the number of times we have seen business owners take the quick and easy road to fast cash but end up being in a worse position.

Looking Ahead to a Bright 2017

I remember being told several years ago that traditional lending will be replaced with online solutions and how factoring and asset-based lending will be irrelevant in the near future. I would agree that the market has certainly changed over the last 5+ years. However, there are tried and true methods to finance your business that make more sense than online solutions. In order to find the best financing solution, business owners need to do their homework and consult with their trusted advisors. Usually, it is not just one product, so be open-minded.

The start of 2017 will be very interesting with a new administration, rate increases, and a robust stock market. The Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials will all be making their mark in the years to come. Enjoy the ride as it will certainly be one for the history books.

Happy New Year!

About the Author

Mike Semanco serves as President and Chief Operating Officer for Hitachi Business Finance. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial service industry. His career spans a variety of lending institutions, beginning with banks and credit unions to becoming a partner that launched Hennessey Capital in 2002 (which is now Hitachi Business Finance). He can be reached at msemanco@hitachibusinessfinance.com or (248) 658-3201.

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