Getting Credit: Fewer Hurdles But Higher Costs

Though jewelers in search of money now are welcome at many banks, they often must pay more for the credit they receive. Even when bankers say no, there are a number of other places to turn. Retail jewelers, take heart. The credit crunch of the past five years is easing as more banks dust off their welcome mats to businesses seeking financing. There is a catch, however: loans may cost more. Is credit really easing? Eighty-five percent of small and medium-sized businesses that applied for financing in 1995 obtained it (up from 74% in 1994), according to National Small Business United, an organization for such businesses. Similarly, members of the JCK Retail Jewelers Panel say banks have become more accommodating. More than three-quarters say they have good to excellent prospects of borrowing cash to fund a major business expense. The same percentage say they haven't had any problems

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