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CHEMICAL BANK SURVEY OF MID-SIZED BUSINESSES FINDS SKEPTICISM ABOUT ECONOMY

 CHEMICAL BANK SURVEY OF MID-SIZED BUSINESSES
 FINDS SKEPTICISM ABOUT ECONOMY
 NEW YORK, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A Chemical Bank survey of New York-area mid-sized businesses shows continuing skepticism about the economy. More than half of those surveyed (53 percent) have seen no economic improvement in the last few months, for example, and just four percent have noticed a strong rebound.
 Exactly half of the companies expect economic conditions in the Northeast to remain the same in the next few months, with 14 percent expecting the situation to worsen. One third anticipate an improvement. And 75 percent say the recession has affected them a "great deal" or "somewhat."
 Forty-two percent of these companies say they've decreased the size of their workforce. Much of the nation's job growth in recent years has traditionally come from small and mid-sized companies.
 Twenty-eight percent of the companies surveyed say they've lowered production or inventory levels, while about one third haven't changed them and 26 percent have increased them.
 Despite the gloomy economic assessment, an overwhelming 96 percent of the companies expect to survive the recession, and only 6 percent plan to leave the region.
 "While it may seem strange that these business owners are so overwhelmingly convinced of their ability to survive, it is typical of the entrepreneurial spirit," said Chemical Bank Executive Vice President Frank Lourenso.
 The Chemical study also shows that the "credit crunch" among smaller companies has been somewhat exaggerated. About half of the companies say their primary bank has made credit as available as a year earlier, 16 percent say credit is more available and 21 percent less.
 Just 28 percent of the businesses say they've been persuaded to borrow by low rates charged by banks in the last year or will be influenced to do so by them in the next six months.
 "We are eager to extend credit to small and medium-sized companies and spend a great deal of time looking for new business," said Mr. Lourenso. "However, many of these companies continue to be in a recessionary mode and want to strengthen their balance sheets despite low borrowing rates."
 Chemical Bank is the market leader in providing credit to small and mid-sized companies, doing business with 56 percent of middle market companies in the nine-county downstate New York area. Its survey of 700 middle market businesses (annual sales of $10-500 million) in the New York region was completed in August 1992 by an independent market research firm, Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Ken Herz of Chemical Bank, 212-270-4621/ CO: ST: IN: SU: ECO


SM-TS -- NY001 -- 8919 09/14/92 09:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
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