Almost half (47%) of small business owners say that access to credit is currently a problem for their business, according a new national poll released today by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and CAMEO (California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity). In California and the rest of the West, even more small business owners thought it was a problem – 49%.
“It’s a serious problem for the economy that almost half of very small businesses still face a credit crunch five years after the financial crisis,” said Richard Eidlin, Director for Public Policy for ASBC.
“The single most effective way to increase the access to capital for these businesses overall is to expand business assistance programs, said Claudia Viek, CEO of CAMEO. It’s the first step in building the pipeline of loan ready borrowers.”
Business technical assistance programs such as Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), non-profit entrepreneurial training organizations and non-profit lenders provide essential training, e.g. solid business plan, robust cash flow statements, marketing plan. Without the proper training, new or struggling business owners can’t qualify for loans– therefore slowing the job creation process.
According to the Aspen Institute’s FIELD research, business owners who receive entrepreneurial training and business assistance have an 80 percent success rate versus the 50-80 percent failure rate of small businesses that don’t seek help. On average, they create two jobs in addition to their own over a three-to-five year period.
In 2011, CAMEO members served 21,000 businesses with training, business assistance and small dollar loans. These firms, which were largely start-ups, supported or created 37,000 new jobs for California and generated $1.5 billion in economic activity – raising state revenues, decreasing demand for government services and putting more money into local and state economies.
The poll also found that contrary to expectations, small business owners think the federal government needs to do more to strengthen the banking system. Seventy-nine percent said that the government has done a fair or poor job of making sure the banking system is solvent and adequately protected from future banking crises, bailouts, and shortages of credit. And 60% believe that the problem of “too-big-to-fail” banks taking on excessive credit risks needs more attention from the government.
The poll included 47% Republican, 14% Independent and 27% Democratic small business owners.
Poll results reported here represent findings from a scientific national phone survey of owners of small businesses (with 2 to 99 employees), commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council and conducted by Lake Research Partners. The nationwide live phone survey was conducted between March 14-25, 2013. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
CAMEO’s mission is to grow a healthy, vibrant, thriving environment for all entrepreneurs and start-up businesses by advancing the work of our statewide member network – the over 160 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering the growth of micro-businesses in California.
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 165,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.
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