PayNet bases its report on new commercial loans and leases granted to small businesses in its database. It says the strong reading in its index at the end of 2011 likely was due to companies that were buying and leasing equipment to take advantage of tax deductions that expired Dec. 31.
Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., a credit reporting service for businesses, has also reported a slowdown in lending to small businesses. The company and Pepperdine University surveyed nearly 6,000 companies during the first quarter. Among businesses with revenue under $5 million, 64 percent said difficulty in getting financing has limited their ability to grow. Fifty-five percent said that was restricting their hiring plans.
Dun & Bradstreet has reported that banks are becoming more stringent in their lending requirements for small businesses.
The PayNet report did have some good news: Loan delinquencies fell during April. The number of loans that were less than 90 days past due fell to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent. The number of loans more than 90 days past due fell to 0.35 percent from 0.36 percent.
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