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What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

U.S. Small Business Borrowing Reaches 2-Year High

U.S. Small Business Borrowing Reaches 2-Year High

Small business borrowing in the United States reached a two-year high in June, according to PayNet, a financial technology services company which acquires information about loan originations and delinquencies from over 325 lenders in the U.S., and the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. The Index reached 139.9, which is the highest it has been since July 2015.

According to PayNet, the rise was largely driven by restaurants and hotels with businesses investing more to meet customer demand.

Despite the milestone, borrowing was still relatively flat if you measure back another year.

PayNet founder and Chief Executive Bill Phelan told Reuters that the lack of annual growth in borrowing indicates there is a lot of "uncertainty from policy." "If you don't know what policies are going to be, you are not going to put money to work," he is quoted as saying.

According to Phelan, borrowing by restaurants and hotels was up 5.5 percent from the previous year, but other spaces saw significant declines. Healthcare-related companies, for example, saw a decrease of 12 percent.

PayNet did find that loans of more than 30 days past due were down to 1.67 percent in June from 1.69 percent in May, suggesting that businesses are finding it a little easier to make their loan payments these days.

PYMNTS.com reports on a survey from 12 Federal Reserve banks, which found that over half of startups have found it difficult to secure loans, with 81 percent having used personal funds to cover gaps in cash flow. It found that 58 percent of 0-2-year-old firms and 53 percent of 3-5 year old firms have had difficulty with credit availability or accessing funds for expansion. For mature companies, it was 39 percent.

The survey found that 69 percent of startup applicants obtained less money than the amount they sought from their lenders. More than half (54 percent) of mature applicants also experienced this. Meanwhile, 53 percent of low credit risk startup applicants experienced this type of financing shortfall, compared to 41 percent of mature, low credit risk applicants. The most often cited reason for not receiving the full amount of financing requested among startup applicants was an insufficient credit history.

According to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, loan approval rates at big banks (those with $10 billion-plus in assets) reached a post-recession high in July with loan approval percentages of institutional investors setting a new record. According to that index, alternative lenders and credit unions saw declines in the percentages of funding requests they approved.

The index also showed that loan approval rates at small banks were up by two-tenths of a percent in July to 48.9 percent, from 48.7 percent in June.

It will be interesting to see how the numbers evolve in the second half of the year once lenders and borrowers alike have had more time to get used to the current Presidential administration.