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Hope, prayer and a charge card

Credit cards have always been a source of credit for startups, but other options are disappearing as banks withhold traditional loans and fail to buy into the Small Business Administration's loan-guarantee program. The 22 big banks that received government-bailout funds have cut their lending to small businesses by $8 billion since April when the government made them start reporting it.

Almost 60% of small business owners have used a credit card in the past year for business capital, according to a recent survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA). In contrast, 45% of those polled had a bank loan. As traditional loans dry up and lenders such as JPMorgan Chase hoard cash and build reserves or just file bankruptcy, business owners are doing what they always do. They are finding another to way to succeed and to make things work.