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The effect of falling home prices on small business borrowing

By Mark E. Schweitzer and Scott Shane

Abstract

Small businesses continue to report problems in obtaining the financing they need. Because small business owners may rely heavily on the value of their homes to finance their businesses (through mortgages or home equity lines), the fall in housing prices might be one of the causes of their difficulty. We analyze information from a variety of sources and find that homes do constitute an important source of capital for small business owners and that the impact of the recent decline in housing prices is significant enough to be a real constraint on small business finances.Housing - Prices ; Small business - Finance

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