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 NEW YORK, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost two-thirds of the CEOs of America's fastest growing companies (64 percent) lack confidence that the Clinton administration will find an effective way to encourage more loans to small and emerging growth companies over the next 12 months, according to Coopers & Lybrand's latest "Trendsetter Barometer" survey. Only one-quarter (25 percent) of the CEOs surveyed believe this will occur; the remaining 11 percent are not sure.
 "Lack of confidence in the Clinton team's ability to deliver an overall `climate of credit accessibility' seems to be the underlying reason for `Trendsetter' CEOs' plunge in optimism about the economy in the second quarter," said George Auxier, national director of Entrepreneurial Advisory Services for Coopers & Lybrand, the international professional services firm. "Only 36 percent of growth company CEOs said they are now optimistic about the economy, and outright pessimism has increased 15 percentage points, to 25 percent, in the last 13 weeks."
 Most "Trendsetter" CEOs support changes that would increase loans to small growing companies. One-third believe that such modifications would strongly impact the economy in the near future. Another 34 percent believe such changes would have a moderate near-term impact. Only 27 percent predict a light impact, and 6 percent expect none.
 "Two-thirds of CEOs surveyed said they believe that small growing companies create the most new jobs and new growth in the economy and that these businesses have unmet needs for capital to implement new ideas and develop new products," said Auxier. "`Trendsetter' CEOs feel that, if properly managed, increased credit accessibility could have a long-term, positive impact on our economy."
 CEOs who believe a boost in small business loans would have a strong or moderate impact on the economy tend to have higher growth expectations for their own firms over the next 12 months: 26 percent growth compared to 20 percent among those who see little or no potential economic impact.
 "Firms anticipating the greatest economic impact from a climate that encourages loans are worthy of attention," said Auxier. "Compared to those that see little or no economic impact, these businesses expect to hire 50 percent more employees over the next 12 months, and they anticipate a greater need for additional capital to meet their growth plans. It is also telling that 11 percent of those who anticipate the greatest economic benefits from increased credit accessibility applied for a bank loan in the past 90 days and failed to obtain one. They appear to be speaking from the perspective of their own unmet needs for capital."
 Although "Trendsetter" CEOs report they are well aware of the downside of instituting changes involving relaxed lending standards, citing the savings and loan crisis, they favor a relaxation by a ratio of 3 to 2. Fifty-nine percent maintain this would be a wise action, compared with 39 percent who judge it unwise, and another 2 percent who are uncertain.
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" is developed and compiled by the firm's Entrepreneurial Advisory Services group with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of Business Science International. At each Coopers & Lybrand office, an Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team is available to serve the needs of growing and midsize companies.
 One of the world's leading professional services firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides services for enterprises in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 16,000 professionals and staff in 100 U.S. offices and more than 66,000 people in 120 countries worldwide.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Graphic art available upon request.
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 392 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in revenue/sales./
 /CONTACT: Maggie O'Donovan of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3174/

CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO

TW-DC -- DC007 -- 7430 07/29/93 10:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993

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