by Sally Bakewell
(Bloomberg) — Unprecedented government stimulus has allowed more companies to borrow at lower rates than ever before. Yet amid the credit boom, smaller firms that power America’s economic engine are often being shut out, hamstringing the recovery just as it begins.
The Federal Reserve’s pledge to use its near limitless balance sheet to buy corporate bonds has aided stricken airlines, oil drillers and hotels. It’s also helped companies from Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to Visa Inc. and Chevron Corp. access some of the cheapest financing ever seen. All told, firms have sold about $1.9 trillion of investment-grade debt, junk bonds and leveraged loans this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.