SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

January 16, 2008 11:04 ET

More Small Businesses to Seek Additional Credit in 2008; Fewer Than 25% Increase 2007 Loan Levels With Most Finding Access Unchanged or Easier Says Latest Small Business Research Board Study

Second of a Series -- Many Small Businesses Indicate They Operate Without Loans; Another 5.5% Say Access to Credit Is Impossible According to Latest SBRB Report for "Business Today Magazine"

NORTHFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - January 16, 2008) - More small businesses will seek to increase their loan levels or lines of credit during 2008 according to the nationwide Small Business Research Board (SBRB) study released today.

Of the more than 450 owners and managers participating in the SBRB study co-sponsored by Business Today Magazine, 26.8% said they will increase the dollar value of their loan requests or raise the limit on their line of credit in 2008. This is an increase of 3.5 points from the 23.3% of the small businesses which increased their loans or line of credit in 2007.

Within the overall group of participants, 14% said they decreased their credit needs during the past 12 months while nearly 40% reported their loan amounts were unchanged. Furthermore, 23.2% said they had no loans or lines of credit.

During 2007, the majority of participants (53.1%) in the U.S. poll said they felt that access to credit was unchanged from the previous 12 months while 27.1% said it was "easier." Of the remaining respondents, 14.3% said they described access to credit as "more difficult" and 5.5% indicated that access to credit was "impossible."

While 26.8% will be applying for more credit during the next 12 months, 9.4% intend to reduce their credit needs. The remaining 63.7% will attempt to hold their credit needs at the current level.

This is the second of a series of 11 SBRB / Business Today reports examining the current state of small business lending relationships and loan needs. The first report clearly indicated that small businesses in the U.S. were satisfied with their key lenders as 88.4% said the fit was "good" or "excellent." Of the remaining group, 10.1% categorized the relationship as "fair" while less than 2% said the relationship was either "poor" or their "last resort."

The SBRB / Business Today study also indicated that relationships are lasting longer with more than 78.6% reporting they have been with their principal lender at least five years or an increase from the 66.6% who said they had been with their previous key resource five years or longer.

Comparatively, slightly more than 21% have been with their current primary lender four our fewer years. The report showed 2.3% of the small businesses are in their first year with their current lead lender while 5.7% said their relationship is in the second year.

The next reports will detail collateral requirements and cost and compliance pressures. The SBRB / Business Today Small Business Lending Relationship and Loan Requirements Study also will include reports with findings in seven distinct industries -- manufacturing, construction and contracting, retail, food and beverage, distribution and wholesaling, transportation and automotive.

Business Today Magazine is dedicated to serving the information needs of owners and managers of small businesses. The primary goal of the quarterly publication based in Buffalo Grove, Il. is to inform and educate its readers by providing timely, useful information that will help readers both contend with the daily demands of running their businesses as well as provide insight on achieving long term growth. Business Today Workshops also are conducted throughout the U.S. to provide educational resources for entrepreneurs and their managers.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports attitudes on a wide variety of national and international issues that impact small businesses. These studies benefit owners and managers and also provide opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses.

The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at www.biznus.net.

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the Small Business Research Board, please contact Raymond D. Minkus, (847) 441-4192.

Contact Information