7. Get a loan!
Looking to expand your business? It might be time to get a bank loan.

Small business borrowing surged in October, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. October was the 15th month of double-digit increase, suggesting that the economy will be expanding going into next year, a Reuters article says.

The index measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses. It rose 20% in October, higher than September's revised figures of 12%, according to the index.

Access to capital was virtually shut off during the worst of the financial crisis, but banks recently have been touting their commitments to lending to small businesses. "I don't know of any bank that is well-capitalized and well-funded that doesn't want to make a loan," says Frank Sorrentino, CEO of North Jersey Community Bank. "The problem is not on the supply side. It's on the demand side."

But that is starting to change, he says.

"We've noticed recently -- in the last couple of months -- some percolation starting to occur in the small-business environment. We're seeing some of our clients talking about possible expansion," Sorrentino said last month.

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