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Opinion Survey: Small Business Owner Opinions on Access to Credit and Proposals to Boost the Economy

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council
Date: 
Thursday, 26 January, 2012

Small business owners are suffering from weak sales and decreased customer demand, and on top of that, a lack of access to credit. It is difficult for small business owners to access the credit that will help them grow, hire and jumpstart the economy. Our new opinion polling shows an overwhelming 90% of small business owners nationwide agree the availability of credit for small businesses is a problem, and 61% agree it’s harder to get a loan now than it was four years ago. The vast majority (82%) also supports tighter regulations on credit cards, including clearer disclosure of terms and interest rate caps.

Key Findings

Small business owners say access to credit is a problem: 90% of respondents agree the availability of small business loans is a problem, and 60% have faced difficulty themselves when trying to obtain loans that would grow their businesses.

Small business owners agree it is harder now to obtain loans: 61% of respondents say it is harder now than it was four years ago to get a loan.

Small business owners support making it easier for community banks and credit unions to lend more: 90% of owners support making it easier for community banks and credit unions to lend to small businesses, and more than three-quarters, or 77%, support creating incentives for community banks to lend more. By more than a 2:1 ratio, respondents support increasing credit unions’ lending cap from 12.25% to 27.5% of a credit union’s assets.

Support for reforming and regulating credit cards is extremely high among small business owners: 82% support tighter credit card regulations, such as clearer disclosure of terms and caps on interest rates, including 47% who strongly support these regulations; 52% of entrepreneurs have used credit cards to help finance their own business. 

Majority of owners agree small business lending is a problem

How big of a problem would you say the availability of credit for small businesses is—a serious problem, fairly serious, a minor problem, or not really a problem?

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