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Depending on who you listen to, the Great Recession is eitherover or still going on. While politicians and economists ponder thefate of the recession, small business owners know that theirsuccess relies more on their ability to stay abreast of financetrends than on the opinion of any pundit.

Here are seven small business finance trends that small businessowners should be aware of:

1. Trade credit is rebounding. More small businesses arearranging to buy goods or services on account, without makingimmediate cash or charge card payments. In fact, the Association of CreditManagers’ index of trade credit extended grew to 58.7 in September2010, up from 46.1 in June 2009.

2. Cash flow problems may continue. A recent survey found thatthe number of small business owners who say they’re experiencingcash flow problems increased 4 percent between June 2009 andOctober 2010. Fortunately, the right credit or charge card can helpentrepreneurs better manage their cash flow. Companies likeAmerican Express have a range of charge card products that can address small business owners’changing finance needs, from a Business Platinum card that offersrewards and business travel benefits, to the Plum Card that allowsyou to decide when and how much of your balance to pay.

3. It’s cheaper to get started. Technology has made it possibleto start a variety of businesses with little infrastructure andstart-up cost. With the cost of starting a business decreasing,more entrepreneurs will be able to fund their own companies and becompetitive with larger ones.

4. If your business didn’t have to write off some bad debtduring the recession, you were one of the few who escaped theburden of unpaid receivables. Perhaps driven by this experience,more small businesses are better managing the credit they extend tocustomers and keeping better track of their receivables. Manageyour working capital well, and cash will flow.

5. Understanding your own company’s financial numbers willincreasingly be more important than following the nuances of thefinancial markets. Controlling cash flow, reducing costs, managingstrong marketing efforts, and knowing the demographics of yourcurrent and potential customers will be far more valuable to yoursmall business than worrying about the broader strokes of theoverall market.

6. Micropayments and subscriptions provide small businesses anew, innovative way to profit and serve their customers at the sametime. Small, one-time charges and small, monthly subscription feesmay be preferable to many consumers, and can provide a steadyrevenue stream to a small business.

7. More entrepreneurs will seek – and find – financial educationspecific to small businesses. Financial education can be found inmany places, from forums on the Internet to your local universityor community college. With more schools and advisers offeringcourses and advice aimed at small businesses, any entrepreneur whowants to expand his knowledge to grow his business won’t have anytrouble finding educational resources to help him do so.