Spring may have sprung too soon across the UK: as the sun shone
and blossoms, er, bloomed, the nation's workers heaved a collective
sigh of despondency as they were informed unemployment has hit the
two million mark - the highest since 1997.
Across the Atlantic, though, things were looking a bit more hopeful as US treasury secretary unveiled a package of measures designed to help small businesses. Here, Smarta picks the most-mentioned words in his statement:
Yes, we know they're separate on the Wordle, but the United States' 27m small businesses make up 99.9% of the economy and provide 70% of jobs - so really, you can't have 'small' without 'business'. In an almost-break from cliché (Mr Darling, we implore you to come up with a more original metaphor than 'lifeblood of the economy'), Geithner called small businesses the 'engine of America's dynamism... the anchor of our communities, ever more linked to the global economy'. He said when recession hits, small businesses 'bear that burden heavily' - and with four million US jobs cut in the last year, we're inclined to agree.
The measures announced by Geithner will go some way to reducing the financial strain on small businesses in the US - like in this country, where the government produced a £1.3bn package to underwrite small business loans, the Treasury Department has set aside $15bn (£10.6bn) to guarantee loans from state-funded banks. Geithner also announced plans to allow small businesses to carry back their operating losses five years, rather than two, easing cashflow pressures.
Interesting the word 'make' is so similar in size to the word 'banks': one of the measures put forward as part of the scheme will make banks include small business loans in their monthly reports, forcing them to be as transparent as possible about where their money is going. "Part of this President's commitment [is] to increase transparency and accountability," said Geithner. "We need every bank in the country to do everything in their power to provide the credit small businesses need to operate, expand and add jobs.
"You need to make the extra effort to make sure good loans are getting to creditworthy small businesses in order to serve the larger public good of moving this nation towards recovery."
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