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Looking for loans in new places

The Contos family knows the bitter taste of the credit crunch. Plans were drawn up for the third of their Golden Star Family Restaurants on land the family had owned for years. Then their longtime bankers turned down the Contoses’ request for a $1.5-million loan, offering much less than they needed despite their good credit record. “We thought it was a sure thing,” said Aristi Contos, whose father, Dimitrios “Jimmy” Contos, opened the family’s first Long Beach eatery in 1963 after immigrating to Southern California from Greece. Like many small-business owners, the Contos family has learned a tough lesson: In today’s credit markets, there are no sure things. Some 72% of small-business owners seeking loans say it is harder to borrow money now, according to a September survey released by Discover Financial Services. For full story visit: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-smallbiz6-2008oct06,0,333413.story

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