NORTHJERSEY.COM: CASH FLOW STRESS RISING AMONG SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS’s Carol Lawrence knows cash flow is key, especially for distributors. According to a survey of small business owners by American Express, 32 percent of businesses use personal or private funds, 25 percent delay purchases and 13 percent use credit or charge cards when dealing with insufficient cash flow. Have you ever faced this challenge? If so, what did you do? Excerpt:
Cash-flow issues are growing among small businesses, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, a semiannual survey of 727 small businesses.

The most recent findings in September revealed businesses with cash-flow problems rose to 60 percent from 57 percent last April and from 55 percent in September 2008.

“Cash flow is key,” said Michael Prell, who heads the third-generation, family-owned paper distributor Paterson Papers in Paterson. “Without the ability to buy merchandise and pay employees, you can’t survive.”

According to the National Federation of Independent Business Web site, “projecting cash flow is a delicate relationship between readily available funds, upcoming fixed expenses, upcoming unanticipated expenses, and projected income.”

Business owners say they have to monitor cash flow more closely these days because customers take longer to pay, suppliers want to be paid sooner and clients are going out of business.

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