The erratic pace of borrowing by small business owners continues — a sign that they're still cautious about hiring.
A report Wednesday by PayNet, which provides credit ratings on small businesses, shows just a 1 percent increase in borrowing in November. That followed an 11 percent jump in October. Borrowing fluctuated for much of 2012.
PayNet bases its findings on the amount of new commercial loans and leases granted to small businesses. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, compiled from PayNet's data, rose to 108.3 in November from October's revised 107.
Many small businesses have been reluctant to borrow — and therefore to expand or hire — because of uncertainty about the economy and taxes. They've instead been paying down debt. PayNet says they're generally in good financial shape.