U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in July

U.S. small business borrowing rises in July -PayNet | Reuters (Reuters) – U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in July, pushing the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index to its highest level in more than seven years, according to data released on Wednesday. The increase, to 128.5 from 120.0 in June, suggests small business owners are investing in their companies well above what is needed simply to replace outmoded or worn equipment, PayNet founder Bill Phelan said. It was the highest level since March 2007, and the third highest level since the index launched in 2005. “A solid third quarter is taking shape here, for small businesses and for the U.S. economy,” Phelan said. The index is correlated with U.S. gross domestic product growth two to five months ahead. “I think they are seeing demand right now. … This has got to be showing some strength in orders.” The rise in borrowing is also good news for jobs, Phelan said, citing a historically strong correlation between loan growth and job creation. A separate index released by PayNet showed loan delinquencies ticked up from the prior month, with delinquencies of 31 to 180 days, PayNet’s broadest measure of late loan payments, at 1.55 percent of all loans made, compared with 1.53 percent in June. The index hit a high of 4.73 percent in August 2009. The record low was 1.44 percent last October. PayNet collects real-time loan information such as originations and delinquencies from more than 250 leading U.S. lenders. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Leslie Adler) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/03/usa-economy-lending-idUSL1N0R31FO20140903...

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Business Borrowing is Up in March

(Reuters) – U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in March, signaling a renewal of confidence in growth prospects after an unusually harsh winter crimped investment. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, rose to 115 in March from 111.6 in February, PayNet said on Wednesday. It was the first monthly gain since December, and marked an 18 percent increase from a year earlier. The year-on-year increase, the biggest in more than two years, reflects more optimism among small business owners and “signals some continued strengthening” for the U.S. economy overall, PayNet founder Bill Phelan said. After stumbling badly in the first quarter, the U.S. economy appears set for a rebound, with economists predicting that growth this quarter will come in at an annualized rate of 3 percent or more. Federal Reserve policymakers are set to wrap up a two-day meeting on Wednesday with a decision to continue reducing the U.S. central bank’s bond-buying stimulus at a measured pace, reflecting their expectations that despite increasing momentum the economy still needs plenty of support. A separate index released by PayNet showed loan delinquencies only slightly above recent record lows. Delinquencies of 31-to-180 days, PayNet’s broadest measure of late loan payments, ticked up to 1.48 percent of all loans made. The index hit a high of 4.73 percent in August 2009. The record low was 1.44 percent last October. PayNet collects real-time loan information such as originations and delinquencies from more than 250 leading U.S. lenders. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Leslie Adler)...

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New Small Business Data

If you’ve been waiting for a healthy environment to sell a small business, 2014 may be your moment. The BizBuySell Insight Report, published by the online business marketplace BizBuySell, found that the number of small-business deals that closed in 2013 increased by 41.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter in 2012, with restaurants and retail businesses seeing the most action. The median sale price for small businesses in Q3 of 2013 was $180,000—up 2.9 percent from the same time the previous year, though a little below the median asking price of $199,000. On average, selling prices were equal to 2.19 percent of cash flow. The healthy selling climate seems likely to continue—which is good news for those who are eager to retire or cash out. Among mergers-and-acquisitions insiders, 68 percent expected the market to pick up strength in the 12 months following September 2013, according to a survey released in October by the law firm Dykema, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. With interest rates still low, experts say many buyers should be able to access affordable financing. “You’ve got a pretty good window in 2014 where rates will begin to start to rise but still stay at historically low levels,” said Mitch Davidson, managing director of Post Capital Partners, a New York City private equity firm focused on the lower end of the middle market. “Debt finances a significant element of these transactions.” (Read more: Where American entrepreneurs are striking next) Of course, the market for any small business can be unpredictable, so owners shouldn’t sell just because there’s momentum now, say experts. There need to be other compelling reasons to put a business on the market, whether that’s the desire to move on to a new venture or to slow down. “Market timing is always tricky, so I’m not sure that anybody should be waiting for just the right time to sell,” said Kevin O’Connell, a partner in the corporate department at Boston-based law firm Posternak Blankstein & Lund, who works in mergers and acquisitions. If you are considering selling a business at some point in the near future, it is important to get it into shape to reap the maximum return on your investment. Here are five strategies experts recommend. The best part: None of these will be wasted efforts if you reconsider selling, because all will make your business stronger. 1. Get...

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