WASHINGTON, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SCORE, – www.score.org - mentors to America's small businesses, has gathered statistics on the financial strains of small business owners in the United States. In the second quarter of 2015, overall small business optimism dropped for the first time since 2012. Lower revenues and tighter credit in 2015 are discouraging business owners.

Fewer loan approvals mean more reliance on owner's assets

Since 2012, small businesses (less than $5 million in revenue) have had a loan approval rate of less than 50%. Due to difficulties securing financing, entrepreneurs use their own money to fund their companies.

36% of small businesses depend on the owner's personal assets, while only 16% of mid-sized businesses ($5 - 10 million in revenue) rely on the owner's money.

Marketing is the top reason for financing

When small business owners were asked what they would do with $100,000, their answers ranged from promoting their company to hiring a full-time employee.

30% would market or promote their business
29% would pay bills or loans
22% would invest in equipment
17% would purchase inventory
11% would offer a new product or service
9% would remodel or expand their current location
8% would hire a fulltime employee