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CHEMICAL BANKING CORPORATION: SURVEY OF CONNECTICUT MID-SIZED BUSINESSES FINDS SKEPTICISM ABOUT ECONOMY

 STAMFORD, Conn., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A Chemical Bank Connecticut survey of Connecticut mid-sized businesses shows continuing skepticism about the economy. More than half of those surveyed (54 percent) have seen no economic improvement in the last few months, for example, and just 4 percent have noticed a strong rebound.
 Over half of the companies (55 percent) expect economic conditions in the northeast to remain the same in the next few months, with 16 percent expecting the situation to worsen; 26 percent anticipate an improvement. And 77 percent say the recession has affected them a "great deal" or "somewhat."
 Almost 40 percent (37 percent) of these companies say they've decreased the size of their workforce. Most of the nation's job growth in recent years has come from small to mid-sized companies.
 Despite the gloomy economic assessment, an overwhelming 97 percent of the companies expect to survive the recession, and only 4 percent plan to leave the region.
 "While it may seem strange that these business owners are overwhelmingly convinced of their ability to survive, it is typical of the entrepreneurial spirit," said Chemical Connecticut Corporation President Chet Forman.
 The Chemical study also shows that the "credit crunch" among mid-sized companies has been somewhat exaggerated. About half of the companies say their primary bank has made credit as available as a year earlier, 19 percent say credit is more available and 21 percent less.
 Thirty 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 Richard B. Aliperti, division executive, Chemical Bank. "However, loan demand remains soft because these businesses want to strengthen their balance sheets."
 Chemical's survey of over 200 middle market businesses (annual sales of $10-$500 million) in the Connecticut region was conducted by an independent market research firm, Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Ken Herz of Chemical Banking, 212-270-4621/
 (CHL)


CO: Chemical Banking Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: FIN SU: ECO

TS-PS -- NY002 -- 1235 03/01/93 09:00 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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