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Increased lending, electronic payments could help small businesses grow

Jan 24, 2013 Sean Albert

Small businesses experienced a bit of a revival toward the end of 2012, and different initiatives and innovations are expected to help that trend continue.

"We have grown our way out of the recession now," John Fleming, communications director for the Florida Retail Federation, recently told the Sun-Sentinel. "We are at pre-recession levels in terms of sales and employment. We are projecting that trend will continue."

According to the Sun-Sentinel report, many small retailers are projecting that 2013 will be categorized as a year of increased hiring and grand openings. Those predictions are based largely on improved consumer confidence last year, which led to better-than-expected sales numbers during the 2012 holiday shopping season.

Another reason for optimism is the rapidly growing popularity of electronic payments. Online shopping totals soared in 2012, as consumers gravitated toward internet and mobile payment methods.

In addition, small business owners are likely encouraged by the growing approval rates for receiving loans. Small and big banks both increased their short term lending totals for smaller companies in December, according to a recent Biz2Credit study, with big banks reporting a 13 percent jump from November. Credit union approval rates dipped slightly, to 47.6 percent, while alternative lenders approved nearly 64 percent of small business requests.