Small business bankruptcies shrank by nearly 17% in the past three months, according to data-tracker Equifax's quarterly Small Business Bankruptcy Report.

"We’re seeing consistent improvement across all major regions," said Amy Crews Cutts, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. For its reports, Equifax classifies a small business as a commercial entity of fewer than 100 employees and it analyzes public records of Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings. 

This most recent report reveals that of the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, only the New York-White Plains and New Jersey divisions experienced an 11% climb in small business bankruptcy since 2011.

With the exceptions of Denver and New York, all areas saw a decline of more than 25%. In June, Equifax reported that small business bankruptcies dropped 36% from 2010 to 2012 and projected that the downward trend would continue.

If it persists, the number of bankruptcies will fall another 20% from now until the end of 2012. This figure will match the one at the start of the recession in 2007. Cutts said this isn't surprising, as job growth in the U.S. is progressing. 

"All of the conditions are ripe for us to be healthy participants in the economy," Cutts said. "Businesses, small or large, are seeing not only a return to profitability but a reason to expand."

Published on: Aug 22, 2012