Small-business lending grew at a faster pace in 2007, the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy reported this week.

According to a nationwide survey of banks and other lenders, the number of small-business loans under $1 million has increased by 15 percent since last June, with total dollar value up by about 8 percent.

The National Federation of Independent Business recently reported that despite talk of a credit crunch, small-business owners are having no trouble obtaining loans.

In its monthly small-business optimsim index, the Washington-based lobby group found just three percent of owners polled last month cited the cost and availability of credit as a top business concern. Indeed, 35 percent reported regular borrowing activity -- a figure in line with monthly readings over the past 15 years. About a quarter of the group's 600,000 typically respond to the monthly surveys.

"There is no evidence that there are cash flow problems that have increased dependence on credit from the banking system," William Dunkelberg, the NFIB's chief economist, said in a statement.