I recently took a look at National Federation of Independent Business data on the satisfaction of small-business borrowing needs and was struck by the continued downward trend. According to the NFIB data, fewer small businesses said in March that their borrowing needs had been satisfied in the previous three months than at any point since well before the recession began.
Percent of Businesses With Borrowing Needs Satisfied in the Previous Three Months, January 2007-March 2009.
As you can see, the numbers bounce around a bit from month to month, but the overall trend is down. As the recession wears on, a decreasing percentage of small-business owners believe that their borrowing needs were satisfied over the previous three months.
When will we get back to prerecession levels of meeting the needs of small-business borrowers? It doesn't look like anytime soon.
Scott Shane is A. Malachi Mixon III professor of entrepreneurial studies at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By, among other books.