The big squeeze on small-business financing continues, despite the overall loosening of U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans in recent months, two new studies show.

Nearly four in 10 small-business owners polled in the past few weeks said they are not able to get the financing they need to run their firms, according to a study Wednesday from the National Small Business Association. That's up from a third in December 2008.

A report from the Service Employees International Union, also out Wednesday, says SBA lending by major banks has significantly dried up. Bank of America, for instance, made a mere $10 million in 7(a) loans for the first seven months of fiscal year 2009. For the past two full years, it made $102 million and $336 million in 7(a) loans, according to the SEIU.
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