FTC to Host Forum on Small Business Financing

The Federal Trade Commission will host a forum on small business financing on May 8, 2019, to examine trends and consumer protection issues in this marketplace, including the recent proliferation of online loans and alternative financing products.

Small businesses are an integral part of the U.S. economy, and they often need financing in order to operate and grow.  While some business owners can secure loans from banks or other traditional lenders, many businesses must turn to alternative sources for capital.  In recent years, the online marketplace for small business financing has offered a wide variety of products, including term loans, lines of credit, and cash advances. Though some options may provide unique benefits, such as quicker access to capital, some of these products also raise consumer protection concerns, like high costs and potentially unclear terms.  Unfortunately, there have also been reports of deception and other harmful practices by some companies offering small business financing.

The FTC’s event, Strictly Business: An FTC Forum on Small Business Financing, will gather a variety of stakeholders to examine this industry, including the different types of products available to small businesses, the benefits of these products, and possible consumer protection concerns.  The forum will also examine how the FTC Act, other laws, and self-regulatory frameworks may apply to companies offering these products.

In advance of the forum, the FTC is considering potential panelists.  If you wish to participate as a panelist, please email any relevant information to smallbizfinance@ftc.gov.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C.  It will be webcast live on the FTC’s website.  A full schedule and other details on the forum will be announced shortly.  No pre-registration is needed.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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