Credit markets largely dried up during the recession and have only recently begun to show signs of improvement. However, much of the business lending activity in recent months appears to have been reserved for high-growth, low-risk enterprises. Small businesses, on the other hand, are struggling to access credit.
A survey released this week by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority shows as many as 90 percent of polled small business owners believe credit access is a problem, while 61 percent say loans are now more difficult to acquire than they were four years ago. This may be reflective of stricter consumer credit risk management
practices. The same number of respondents claimed they support community banks and credit unions being able to lend more to small firms, and 82 percent support tighter credit card regulations. "Loans that will help small businesses grow and create jobs are harder and harder to come by," said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. "With banks' lending portfolios shrinking and small businesses' dependence on credit cards growing, lawmakers need to look for smart ways to revamp the credit landscape."