Like many small home business owners, Marianne Cusano uses her home to fund her business.
"We have a lot of debt," said Cusano, 53, the co-owner of New England Barricade Company, a maker of roads signs in Newmarket, New Hampshire. "Right now I'm in the process of trying to refinance my house so I can pay off all my credit cards."
New England Barricade is by no means a failure. Since purchasing the company in 2002, Cusano, who runs the small home business with her husband, Allen, has boosted sales more than 35 percent to some $750,000.
To get through rough periods in the seasonal business, they used government-backed loans; now they face a stricter lending environment for credit.
"A lot of our credit cards have been reduced," said Cusano, who has five employees on her payroll for the small home business. "We used it to help our cash flow winter after winter."
The hunt for financing is a constant challenge facing small home businesses.