The State of Small Business Loans Nationwide Remains Elusive, Despite Increased Optimism from Business Owners, According to the Q3 2015 PCA Index

By |2017-09-14T11:21:08-07:00September 4th, 2015|

Once a quarter, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet poll small and medium-sized businesses across the nation to learn more about those companies growth and access to capital. Overall, the Q3 2015 PCA Index findings revealed that small and medium sized businesses surveyed are still optimistic about their growth prospects, as they have been in years past. The findings also revealed that businesses across the United States are feeling more restricted by the current business environment. Here are the highlights*:


  • Businesses with less than $5 million in revenue are getting loans less than half the time.
  • BUT an average of 60% of business surveyed are in need of financing due to planned growth.
  • Business owners surveyed with less than $5 million in revenue, 60% say their growth opportunities are restricted, and 52% feel their ability to hire is restricted as well.
  • Over one-third (37%) of small businesses with <$5M in revenue used personal assets.

Full National Infographic

 New York

  • New York small businesses surveyed are feeling slightly more restricted than other businesses across the country: 61% of New York small businesses surveyed feel their growth opportunities are restricted, compared to a national average of 57%. Likewise, 47% of NY small businesses feel their ability to hire is restricted, compared to a national average of 48%.
  • New York small businesses are seeking outside financing at a rate of 34%, which is above the national average of 29%. However, NY small businesses are receiving bank loans at a rate of 19% compared to a 37% national success rate for bank loans.

Full New York Infographic



  •  50% of CA small businesses applied for a loan and of those, 46% were successful (up 10% from Q2). Compared to the national success rate (37%), California small businesses surveyed were 9% more successful at securing a loan.
  • Despite receiving more small business loans than in Q2, 32% of California small businesses surveyed relied on personal assets. Furthermore, California small businesses’ ability to hire and to grow is restricted more than the national average (by 2% and 3%, respectively).
  • Of the CA small businesses surveyed, 50% have applied for a bank loan, and 46% have been successful. This is a better rate than the national average of 37%.
  • Despite CA small businesses’ high bank loan success rate, 32% of businesses use personal assets.

Full California Infographic



  • Florida small businesses are feeling much more restricted than the national average: 63% feel their growth opportunities are restricted, compared to 57% nationally, and 50% feel their ability to hire is restricted, compared to 48% nationally.
  • These feelings of restriction could come from an inability to get loans: Of the 45% of Florida small businesses that applied for a loan, only 24% received one, compared to 37% nationally.
  • 31% of small businesses in FL used personal assets, compared to 37% of businesses nationally.

Full Florida Infographic



  • Texas small businesses surveyed generally parallel national averages in terms of plans to grow and hire (68% vs. 63%), seeking financing (36% vs. 34%), and feelings of restriction (64% vs. 60%).
  • Of the 48% of small businesses that applied for loans, 48% were successful. This is better than the average national success rate of 37%.
  • 31% of Texas small business owners transferred personal assets, which is below the national average of 37%.

Full Texas Infographic

PCA in the News:

Small Business Optimism Continues Along Three-Year Upswing

Survey: Most Balk at Equity Crowdfunding

Pepperdine teams with Dun & Bradstreet on entrepreneurial program

Small-Business Loans: More Owners Seeking and Getting Funds

Community Banks to Fill Lending Void?

For more details, click the images below for the national and each state’s full infographic. To read the entire study, you can find the results report here and the trends report here.

*Pepperdine Private Capital Index: PCA Index Survey Responses. Third Quarter 2015. Survey results based on 2,469 national responses. ©Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.