SmallBiz Vote

Smallest of small businesses need credit to fund growth

Microbusinesses have a tough time getting credit

A new poll of microbusiness owners contradicts another recent report that small business owners have a gloomy outlook on the economy. Instead, according to the survey conducted by three small business organizations, most owners of businesses with 10 or fewer employees are optimistic about the future of their business and about the economy.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the National Association for the Self-Employed, and Small Business Majority retained Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to survey 470 microbusinesses online in August. The organizations say that many microbusinesses have been growing and expect to continue growing: over half report increased sales or revenues over the last two years and another 50 percent plan to hire within the next two.

National Association of Self Employed CEO Kristie Arslan says microbusinesses, including the self-employed, are key drivers of the US economy. Based on the survey results, NASE predicts that the 22 million self-employed Americans will hire up to 11 million workers over the next two years and issue $660 billion more in paychecks compared to 2012. "These are numbers that would greatly impact the overall US unemployment number, not to mention the economy as a whole," Arslan says.

Despite the optimism, NASE and the other small business organizations that sponsored the poll suggest in a statement that the "contribution these businesses can make to our economic recovery is at risk." While limited access to credit is a complaint of many small business owners, the problem is even greater for microbusinesses, the organizations suggest. Nearly 6 in 10 microbusiness owners who need credit to grow say that getting it is a serious problem. Forty percent of microbusiness owners who applied for credit last year say they were turned down.

"These smallest businesses make up 95 percent of all small businesses, so they are truly the backbone of our economy and the ones who will pull us out of this recession," says John Arensmeyer, founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. "While work has been done to shore up credit for small businesses, these microbusiness owners are still struggling to get the help they need. It's important policymakers realize how vital these businesses are to our economy and do what needs to be done to help them succeed."

To view the full report visit the Small Business Majority online.

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