The study also reveals key players in private capital lending including banking, private equity investing, venture capital, and business brokers are worried about private capital access. The majority of investment bankers surveyed report increases in deal flow, presence of strategic buyers, leverage, and deal multiples but also slightly worsened business conditions. Investment bankers identified domestic economic uncertainty as the most important current and emerging issue facing privately held businesses, followed by access to capital and government regulations and taxes. The study also polled business owners. Findings show 88 percent of business owners report having the enthusiasm to execute growth strategies while only 50 percent report having the necessary financial resources to successfully execute growth strategies. Among business owners, 25 percent believe government regulations and taxes are the number one issue small businesses face today, followed by domestic economic uncertainty (18 percent) and access to capital (17 percent). The contrast between an improved business outlook and findings of a restrained lending environment are mirrored across virtually all stakeholder sectors, said Craig R. Everett, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance and director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project. While some of the perceived disconnect is to be expected given the uncertainty around a presidential election, it more likely reflects hope for a more complete economic recovery mixed with fear of impending inflation and a lower appetite for risk from lenders. Lender respondents appeared to provide the most consistent findings, possibly based on their experience over the previous year.
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