Thankful for the Unappreciated

I just finished reading the latest Michael Lewis book The Fifth Risk.  I am a fan of Lewis’s early works including Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, and The Big Short and I found this latest book as compelling as any of the others.  In the book, Lewis describes a number of the unsung (and misunderstood) government agencies including the Departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce and the myriad of ways that these agencies benefit normal Americans.  The point of the book is that so much of what these agencies do are absolutely vital to our everyday life yet they are dismissed and undermined by certain elements within our political leadership and general public.

In the past few weeks, our company completed a long, exhausting process resulting in the re-financing of all of our bank debt.  As a small company, it is very difficult to get bank financing even though such access to capital is the lifeblood of companies like ours.  This new financing will allow us to further develop our business, expand our product offerings and hire more staff.  It was concluded after considerable work both from ourselves and our bank.

Critical to the deal, however, was the guarantee of the Small Business Administration (SBA).  This is yet another of these unsung agencies within the federal government that shares many parallels with departments highlighted in the Lewis book. The SBA provides a government guarantee to the commercial bank so that the bank is willing to extend the financing to a small company like ours.  Without the SBA guarantee, many companies like ours would be without financing options and face much more uncertain futures.

So, in this week of giving thanks, I wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation to the unsung, unappreciated professionals laboring in government agencies like the SBA and those highlighted in The Fifth Risk without whom our lives would be lessened.