More small business owners losing bank loans

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Want to hear something ironic?

Bob Rush, owner of a small construction company in Mooresville, started the New Year overwhelmed by what he calls blessings - $1.7 million dollars in signed contracts - job assignments ready and waiting.

"We could be making money and hiring people and putting them to work," Rush says.

Could be...if the banks hadn't frozen his company credit and loans.

"A line of credit is a lifeline," he says. "That's what it is. It's a lifeline."

Rush has been in construction for decades, and worked closely with a lot of bankers along the way. So when Ram Development was inexplicably cut off, he asked one he trusted why, and he wrote down the answer.

"We were told by our friend in banking that if a company had development or contract attached to their name in any way shape or form," Rush reads, "no consideration would be given for any lines of credit regardless.

"And it was sent out like almost an interoffice email, a memorandum," he adds, "that that's what was going on."

But why?  Why when big bank CEO's have publicly vowed to help the country by boosting loans to small businesses, to companies like Rush's, that can get the economy moving again?

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan promised just this week, "to lend $5 billion more to small and mid-sized businesses than we otherwise would have lent in 2010."

Well, Rush says insiders have told him "that they're waiting for the government to more or less give them the money to write the loans." He shakes his head. "The big banks, they just used us."