Over the last few weeks I've started to hear from many of my business clients that their businesses are "starting" to show signs change...change for the good. Now, I'm not going to tell you that there's any big changes underfoot, but my sense of it is that there's a change in attitude, and it's less negative than I've seen for a long time. I'm delighted, and I'm hoping it's not just my wishful thinking.
Small businesses are often the first to see change, but usually the last to recover, because they have less "fat" to live on in hard times. Many of my clients are finding it tough, and in fact are holding on, hoping for an upswing. Now's the time for the banks to have faith and hang in there. Unfortunately, bankers are often bound by their institutional rules, and even if they personally would choose to cut a struggling small business some slack, they risk censure or even termination if they do so. 
So, look for a bank with a local focus and personality. The age of the mega-bank is not coming to a close, but if there's anything small businesses has learned in the last, difficult years, it's that local banks may often come through when national and international banks have their focus on trying to get the government to bail them out.

If you're seeing any positive change in your business, or the attitude of your banker, your creditors or your vendors, post a comment here on my blog...I'd love to hear about your experience.