Small Business Borrowing To Take A Downturn, Survey Finds

18. October 2017.








A new survey released on Wednesday (Oct. 18) suggests that small businesses (SMBs) are likely to reduce borrowing activity in the second half of 2017.

The latest data from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, along with Dun & Bradstreet, found that small businesses surveyed expected slower annual revenue growth for the second half of the year. Companies with revenues of less than $5 million say they are predicting 9.3 percent gains, down from 10.6 percent growth expected for both the first and second quarters of the year, according to reports in SFGate.

Researchers surveyed 1,176 businesses.

The report also found that demand for capital among small businesses has dropped more than 10 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.

Less than half (43 percent) said they expect an easy time obtaining financing in the coming months, while nearly the same amount (42 percent) said they expect this process to be difficult. Three-quarters of SMBs said they will first turn to a traditional bank loan.

Nearly half said that if they fail to obtain financing, growth will slow; nearly a quarter said lack of financing will result in layoffs.

According to the report, nearly half of the SMBs surveyed said they have tried to get a bank loan in the last three months, with 44 percent reporting they were successful — up from 34 percent in the second quarter.

While traditional bank loans remain the most popular financing choice for small businesses, obtaining loans from friends and family also remains a common tactic, with nearly three-quarters of SMBs surveyed saying they have sought financing from their friends and family. Nearly 80 percent also pointed to personal credit cards as an easy form of financing for their businesses.

Despite a predicted decline in small business borrowing, separate analysis released this month suggests SMBs may have an easier time obtaining a bank loan than they have in the past. The latest report from Biz2Credit’s Small Business Lending Index found small business bank loan approval rates at community banks have increased.

“If you are seeking small business loans, you have a better chance now at securing funding than any other time since the Great Recession,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora in a statement at the time.

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