"…three out of four small businesses that applied to banks for credit in 2010 got none or only some of the amount they asked for; half were rejected outright." That quote comes from a study conducted by the New York Fed and published as part of a webcast sponsored by CFO Magazine and The Receivables Exchange, an asset-based financing company. CFO Magazine's research arm actually conducted a survey late last year to learn about what small business CFOs were doing to cope with the situation. In spite of the study's discouraging findings, 57% of CFOs surveyed said they still intended to go to their bank for additional financing.

The survey report is well worth reading, and if you can't find it online ask me for a pdf format electronic copy.

But the point is not to dwell on the obvious, other than to remind you that you're not alone in being unable to get growth capital from your bank. The point is this: It ain't gonna get better anytime soon, so get used to it and find another way! So how does a small or mid-sized business get the capital they need for growth or restructuring or even as an exit for the long-time owners? one axiom is still true: If you keep doing what you've always done, you're not likely to get a different result. The tools of capital raising are many and varied, and while some work only some of the time, e.g. borrowing from your bank, others will work when the more traditional methods don't.

So look for other options. Get yourself an independent advisor who is not employed by one source of capital and ask them to help you explore the options that are best for your business and your strategic and personal goals. Then when you know what you want, go after that source with the right preparation, the right story, and the right support team. You'd be surprised how different that will make you look compared to all those businesses that DIDN'T get the money they asked for.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

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