Small-business bankruptcies increase in 2009


Western U.S. businesses have struggled more than eastern businesses since September 2008.

Small-business bankruptcies have risen by 44 percent from the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009, according to Equifax Inc. California has been hit hardest, with eight metropolitan areas among the 15 areas nationwide experiencing the most commercial bankruptcy filings in September 2009. The top 10 are:

> Los Angeles, Calif.

> Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif.

> Sacramento, Calif.

> Denver/Aurora, Colo.

> Santa Ana/Anaheim/Irvine, Calif.

> San Diego/Carlsbad, Calif.

> Dallas/Plano/Irving, Texas

> Portland/Beaverton, Ore., Vancouver, Wash.

> California (excluding other metropolitan areas in the state)

> Oakland/Fremont/Hayward, Calif.

Eastern cities such as Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta; and New York City/White Plains, N.Y., have seen recent recovery, with bankruptcies dropping 69 percent, 44 percent, and 49 percent, respectively, between the second and third quarters of 2009.

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