Lending felt tight last year? You were right

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If the credit environment felt tighter last year than in 2009, a National Federation of Independent Business survey suggests your observation is on the money.

The group’s annual Small Business and Credit Access survey shows fewer respondents applied for credit—48 percent versus 55 percent in 2009. However, a slight increase in approval rates left the share of respondents with credit at about the same level.

A few other findings:

—It pays to look for credit elsewhere after being rejected at an initial institution.

—Receivables stretched dramatically. Only 26 percent of the 65 percent of respondents that offered customers trade credit had no outstanding receivables of 60 days or more.

—Hardly anyone—just 3 percent of respondents—tried to raise equity capital.

A greater problem than credit was poor sales and uncertainty.

A copy of the results is here. A bullet point summary is on page 1.

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