A new survey shows small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S. are seeking and receiving growth capital at the highest rate since 2012. The results, published in conjunction with the latest Dun & Bradstreet and Pepperdine Private Capital Access (PCA) Index, show demand for capital by small businesses (those with less than $5 million in annual sales) has increased by 9.1% since Q1 of 2015. Access to capital, meanwhile, has risen by 1% since the first quarter of this year.
“The results are the highest growth in access to capital for businesses that we have seen since launching our index,” said Jeff Stibel, vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet. “Small businesses are accessing capital at a rate that we haven’t seen since before the recession began. Their optimism and demand is a promising sign that economic recovery is in full swing.”
The increases are consistent with other favorable indicators in the sector – especially those related to sales. Nearly half of respondents (48%) reported an increase in revenue over the last 12 months, a 4% jump versus three years ago. Businesses optimism is strong, as well, with 72% expecting a jump in sales over the next year, a 10% increase from the 2012 report.
Among other notable Dun & Bradstreet trends for Q2 2015, data shows 34% of small businesses plan on raising financing in the next six months. In addition, fewer small businesses are demanding capital to refinance existing loans, with a 12.7% decrease since 2012. “The increase in demand for capital by small businesses is very encouraging,” said Craig R. Everett, director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project. “We are hopeful that this increased demand will translate into business expansion in the sector.”
The national business data collected by Dun & Bradstreet closely reflect optimism shown by ad specialty industry firms. For example, the Counselor Confidence Index – a tool that measures distributor health and optimism – ticked upward from 114 to 115 following Q1, reaching the highest ever point in its history. (Click here to see the full report). More than 60% of distributors expect their sales will increase this year, while 31% anticipate that business will remain steady, recent ASI data shows.