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Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey: Fewer Small Businesses Expect Difficulty Obtaining Credit

May 01, 2012, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Small business owners are finding it less difficult to obtain credit, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey (conducted April 2-6, 2012). Since the last survey in January, the number of small business owners who found it difficult to obtain credit in the past 12 months declined by 3 percentage points (from 33 to 30 percent). The number of business owners expecting difficulty securing credit over the coming 12 months fell by 6 percentage points (from 38 to 32 percent). This improved optimism about future credit availability contributed to the Small Business Index’s 8-point growth over last quarter from 15 to 23, and is the strongest Index score recorded since Q3 2008 when the Index was at positive 45.

When asked about the amount of debt they carry today compared with one year ago, 32 percent of business owners said they are carrying less debt, 20 percent are carrying more debt and 47 percent are carrying about the same amount of debt.

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents expressed some level of comfort with the debt load they are carrying today, compared with 36 percent who are somewhat or very uncomfortable.

“The survey results are consistent with the deleveraging trend we’ve seen over the last two years among the small business owners we serve,” said Marc Bernstein, Wells Fargo’s Head of Small Business. “Many business owners who took on a significant amount of debt before or during the Great Recession have been focused on paying down existing debt and putting their business in a better position as the economy recovers.”

Thirty-nine percent of small business owners said they were able to obtain all the credit they required in the past year. Twenty percent said they were not able to obtain the credit they needed in the past year, and 38 percent of small business owners said they did not require credit.

To read the full Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey, click here.

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