Small businesses are asking for fewer bank loans than a year ago and getting rejected more often, according to a new survey conducted by Arthur Andersen Enterprise Group and National Small Business United.

The national survey of 687 small businesses found that 45% of respondents applied for a bank loan during the 12 months ended in April, compared with 49% in the year-earlier survey. The percentage of loan applications that were approved dropped to 75% from 77%.

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