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DALLAS – A number of surveys are highlighting the growing number of small business owners that are using debit and credit cards for a variety of reasons. According to the Nilson Report, a credit card industry publication, small business cards are expected to reach 12.1 million by the end of the year, up from 10.2 million in 2003. Small businesses are whipping out the plastic for a number of uses, according to a 2004 survey conducted for American Express by International Communications Research. The most common use is for travel, 63%; followed by office supplies, 53%; entertainment, 51%; computer equipment, 44%; wholesale purchases, including manufacturing supplies, food products, inventory, equipment and goods for re-sale 43%; and business or professional services, 26%. “Many credit unions are not aware that their members who are small business owners and home-based business owners are using their personal credit cards for business use,” said Rollie Penn, executive vice president of TNB Card Services, which serves more than 400 credit unions with debit and credit cards.

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