While the long-term effects of the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates are still not clear, here's one piece of surprisingly good news: a recent survey of nearly 400 fast-growing companies found that 31% were able to increase their credit availability during the fourth quarter of 1993, thereby sheltering themselves from the interest-rate volatility of early 1994. Here's who got the cash:

Average change in credit availability, in fourth quarter of 1993

Product companies +21.1%

Service companies +12.8

Companies with 100 or more employees +25.2

Companies with fewer than 100 employees +13.0

All companies (average) +17.6

All companies (average, fourth quarter of 1992) +11.2

Source: "Trendsetter Barometer," Coopers & Lybrand, New York City, March 1994.

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