A significant uptick in optimism doesn't overshadow widespread concern however. The survey found that 38% rank a prolonged recession or double dip as their greatest economic anxiety and 68% admit that the economy stresses them out. After general economic conditions, the second biggest cause of economic anxiety is high unemployment (32%) and based on other survey findings, the Senate jobs bill isn't likely to address that issue (see Customers, Not Stimulus, Spur SMB Hiring).
And despite stories about high demand for small business lending exhausting stimulus finds, these survey findings indicate that the continued tightness of small business credit may be as much demand as supply. 59% of those surveyed have not pursued new credit in the past 6 months. Only 11% indicated that attempts to secure new credit have been rebuffed and 13% did have a credit line reduced, yet 9% indicated they've been granted new credit.
The answer to why almost two thirds of the small business owners surveyed aren't pursuing new credit split into several buckets. 33% indicate the business is generating sufficient cash flow not need additional credit, 30% say that demand for products and services is so low that additional debt isn't worth the risk, and 22% voice concern about bankruptcy or default.
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