Bank lending is continuing to tighten for small and midsize businesses in the U.S., and most banks do not anticipate relief for commercial borrowers before the middle of 2010, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve. Fearful of losses on commercial real estate and credit card loans, banks are hanging on to their cash rather than lending it to businesses. "The banks are just deathly afraid," said Sam Thacker, a partner in Business Finance Solutions. "I don't see commercial banks coming back to the market anytime soon."

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