Small Business Bankruptcies Decline for Fourth Quarter in a Row

Small business bankruptcies were down for the fourth quarter in a row, says a new report.
August 22, 2012

Small business bankruptcies were down for the fourth quarter in a row, says a new report.

The number of small business bankruptcies in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2012 fell about 17 percent from the first quarter, according to Equifax's Small Business Bankruptcy Report.

A Shrinking Number

The number of business bankruptcies peaked in the second quarter of 2009, the Atlanta-based credit rating agency said. It analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings of businesses with fewer than 100 employees for the report. The 13,745 petitions filed across the U.S. was the lowest recorded for the second quarter since 2007. (Click here to read why more small businesses file for Chapter 7 bankruptcies.)

“The shrinking number of small business bankruptcies is not surprising,” says Equifax's chief economist, Amy Crews Cutts. “Small business owners are still steadfastly deleveraging, bringing their debts, assets and cash flows into better alignment; couple that with promising signals in small business lending, and business owners are better positioned to stay afloat.”

East Coast

Small business bankruptcies were down 28.3 percent from the same quarter last year. Except for the New York-White Plains-Wayne, NJ metropolitan statistical area (MSA), where small business bankruptcy petitions were up 12.3 percent from the second quarter of 2011, the list of the 15 MSAs with the highest number of bankruptcies all showed declines in filings. (In the New York area, there were 228 petitions, up from 203 in the second quarter of 2011.)

West Coast

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. remained tops on the list, with 746 petitions filed. But that's down from 1,049, or 28.9 percent, from last year. Second on the list, also the same as last year, was Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., with 430 bankruptcies. That's down from 647, or 33.5 percent, from last year. Of the six California MSAs on the list, nearly all had upwards of 30 percent dips in bankruptcy filings.

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