Bailout Fiasco: Billions to Banks, Zilch to Small Business!
How One Small Business is Fighting Back!

The news is consumed with talk of our failing economy, Bailouts and Stimulus packages. From Wall Street to Bank Bailouts, the Senate is busy working out the details of the various plans. One example: It has been reported Bank of America received $20B in US government aid and $118B worth of guarantees against bad assets. Meanwhile, small businesses are collapsing across the nation. Will the Stimulus plan now in Congress also include plans for Small Business and Main Street Americans?
Here is the story of how One Small Business is Struggling to stay in business and is Fighting back:
Rogelio Castro is the American born son of Pedro and Lucy Castro who immigrated to the US in 1945. His parents founded La Guadalupana Company in Chicago, specializing in tamales and other home-made products. Over the decades their business grew and prospered. In 1992 Rogelio expanded production and opened a USDA-approved plant, making La Guadalupana products available across the Midwest. By 2003, La Guadalupana had sales of more than $1.5 million. It was no wonder LaSalle Bank (later merged with Bank of America) came calling to win their business. The Bank was full of promises, with offers of loans to help them expand nationally. The wooing worked and Castro switched Banks. The bank’s sales tactics were compelling. Grow, Buy, Borrow to your heart’s content. The Castro’s were convinced to extend themselves beyond their previously set limits and attempted to purchase another business in Ohio. Through this time, the bank merged with Bank of America. As small bank written promises were broken by uncaring national Bank’s policies, not only did the Ohio sale fall through, but the National Bank attempted to foreclose on their business, sending letters to clients and suppliers alike, informing them of their financial woes, disparaging their brand. The bank’s actions violated their agreement, but beyond that, caused the Castro’s to lose market-share from 80% to 50%.
While many small businesses might fold under such pressure from the mighty National Banks, the Castro’s decided to fight back! They took the big National Bank to court and demanded the Bank cease and desist their tactics. An Emergency Temporary Restraining Order Hearing is set for Monday, 2-9-09, at 2:30 central at the Daley center.

This is not the end to this story. Perhaps Castro will be successful in court or perhaps not and his business will fail. His fate, as all of ours, lies not only in the judgement of the courts or in the halls of Congress, but most significantly, in our Country's ultimate economic destiny.


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