The majority of small businesses are depending on credit cards to stay running nowadays, according to a new survey.

The survey, by the National Small Business Association, found that 59 percent of the 288 small businesses it polled have used credit cards in the past 12 months to finance their capital needs, up from 49 percent in December 2008.

This increase is occurring despite a rise in the number of small businesses reporting worsening credit-card terms. Asked to evaluate their credit-card terms over the last five years, 79 percent reported worsening terms, up from 69 percent in December 2008. Even more eye-opening, when asked if their credit-card terms had worsened in the last six months, a whopping 75 percent of the small businesses reported that they had.

The survey comes on the heels of passage of credit-card reform legislation in the House and in advance of expected debate on a similar measure in the Senate. The SBA has been an outspoken proponent of credit-card reform, citing the ever-increasing reliance of small businesses on credit-card financing.

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