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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly one in five small U.S. businesses say they risk going out of business because of the worsening financial crisis, according to a survey from American Express Open. 


The credit card issuer’s small business branch conducted the poll in October, reflecting the latest downturn in financial markets.


It found that 63 percent of businesses were having more trouble accessing credit, up from 50 percent in an already turbulent August survey. Eight in ten businesses said they experienced a decline in sales.


The poll was based on a nationally representative sample of 602 small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees, Amex said.


Still, many were hopeful the government’s $700 billion rescue package would provide some relief, with 55 percent saying the bailout might help stabilize the economy


(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)