New federal policies have fallen short, Dennis says, by failing to address underlying real estate and demand problems or to "quickly and effectively aid small businesses in their struggle to grow in the current unfavorable economic conditions."

Dennis continued: "This recovery period will be unique, and we don't expect credit levels to reach the levels they did a decade ago."

The survey was conducted by the Gallup Organization for the NFIB. The results are based on 856 employers that have between one and 250 employees.

While the results of the NFIB's survey may not be shocking -- credit access, particularly for small businesses, has only just begun to ease following the financial crisis -- it does bolster the argument small businesses are still troubled.

The report included some other interesting statistics:
  • Borrowers' second and third tries at getting credit proved more beneficial even though, typically, credit approval "declines with each consecutive institution approached," the survey said.
  • Credit cards were generally easier to get than other forms of credit; 95% of applicants were granted a credit card on the first try.
  • Real estate ownership continues to drag on small-business owners' ability to borrow, with 68% of participants having at least one mortgage; 17% at least one second mortgage; and 12% at least one mortgage collateralized.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Laurie Kulikowski.

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