Small Business Cash Flow Strained as Fellow Small Businesses Slow Payments

New Cortera Small Business Index (SBI) shows widening gap between large and small businesses’ ability to pay bills in timely manner

QUINCY, Mass. AND BOCA RATON, Fla. – October 13, 2009 — Cortera™, a community-driven business information company, announced the publication of its September 2009 Small Business Index™ (SBI) report, a new monthly index of accounts receivable (A/R) activities covering businesses with less than 500 employees (the Small Business Association definition of a small business). Measuring payment activities of approximately 260,000 small businesses, the Cortera September 2009 SBI™ indicates a growing gap between the payment behaviors of large and small businesses, with small businesses paying invoices 25 percent slower than a year ago and 20 percent slower than the overall business average. The data, which showed that small and big companies paid at approximately the same rate prior to the recession, now reveals that small businesses currently have a 55 percent higher days-beyond-terms (DBT) rate than large businesses (businesses with greater than 500 employees).

The new Cortera SBI data complements data reported in the Wall Street Journal in late August, showing that large companies had sped up collection activities from their smaller business partners while, in turn, slowing their own payments.

“The latest Cortera SBI data shows a concerning gap between the financial performance of small and large companies. While the economy is steadily improving, we are still seeing numbers that show small businesses are feeling the after effects of tough terms by their larger suppliers and a tight overall credit market,” Jim Swift, president and CEO of Cortera. “As a result, small businesses are suffering from reduced and much needed working capital – a credit crunch that impedes their ability to plan, grow and in some cases, survive.”

The Cortera SBI tracks late payments against agreed upon terms, measuring late accounts receivable measured in days beyond terms (Average DBT) for businesses with less than 500 employees, comparing this data with equivalent A/R metrics for large companies (greater than 500 employees) and all businesses.

About Cortera

In a sea of business information providers, Cortera is different. With over 15 years of experience serving finance professionals, Cortera combines premium business information and innovative tools with a fresh community approach to commercial credit. It represents the first community for small business credit reporting and a fundamentally new way to capture the collective insight of millions of financial transactions. As a result, small businesses can make smarter, informed decisions to ensure optimal cash flow while attracting more favorable payment terms from existing and potential business partners.

For more information on Cortera, please visit

Media Contacts:

Craig VerColen
VerColen Communications

Alex Coté