Entrepreneurs Turn to Alternative Finance

The credit binge and the crash that followed have left entrepreneurs in a bind. Banks, faced with rising defaults, dramatically tightened lending standards to reduce their risk. Small business owners who borrowed liberally when credit was easy were blindsided by the downturn, and many now find their credit scores wrecked. Those with little debt on their books but facing slipping sales are also perceived as risky: They're shut out of traditional loans and even credit cards, and represent a growing market of businesses that banks won't touch.

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