A new survey of nearly 1,000 small business owners across the U.S. found that over three-quarters of them have not taken advantage of new deferred-payment loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and more than half are not aware of the loans’ availability.

Management consulting firm George S. May International surveyed 993 small business owners and found that about 77 percent have not taken advantage of the deferred-payment loan of up to $35,000 for businesses, which was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, 58 percent of the respondents were not even aware that these loans were made available since September under the SBA’s America Recovery Capital, or ARC, Loan Program.

“Small business owners are sleeping at the wheel,” said Paul Rauseo, managing director of the George S. May International Company. “The fact that such a large number of business owners don’t even know these loans are available is mind-boggling. While more and more business owners are overwhelmed by their financial woes and are frozen in fear and anxiety, they are operating day by day just hoping that tomorrow will be better.”

Eighty-two percent of respondents surveyed said they cannot afford outside intervention or professional management consulting to figure out how to operate more profitably in today’s economic environment. Rauseo believes they need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, take initiative, and look into the type of loan programs that are available. 

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