A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that many small businesses are still being denied access to credit by lenders.

The poll of small businesses in the region found that 59 percent of the respondents applied for credit, demonstrating existing demand among small businesses. Over two-thirds of the 426 poll respondents in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania area experienced sales or revenue declines, implying a broad weakening of small business finances. Only half of small business applicants received credit, and 75 percent reported receiving only “some” or “none” of the credit they wanted.

“Until now, we’ve only heard anecdotally about difficulties for regional small businesses in obtaining credit without any numbers to confirm this,” said Kausar Hamdani, senior vice president and community affairs officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “A main purpose of this poll was to hear directly from small businesses about their recent credit experiences and to analyze them systematically in order to learn more about where the largest obstacles exist.”

Separately, financial software developer Sageworks conducted its own survey of credit and lending professionals at 159 financial institutions asking each respondent to characterize the number and volume of commercial loans their bank plans to make in 2011, as compared to 2010. The survey found that 48 percent plan to make more commercial loans, 31 percent plan to make about the same number of commercial loans, 11 percent plan to make fewer commercial loans, and 10 percent plan to make significantly more commercial loans.

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