• trade credit;
  • contagion;
  • financial crisis;
  • small business
  • G20;
  • G32;
  • G33

The present study investigates whether credit contagion leads to a decrease in trade credit for small businesses. In 1997–1998, the Japanese economy experienced a deep recession, and the domino effect caused an increase in the number of dishonored bills and bankruptcy filings. During a period of credit contagion, the possibility of default increases for firms with more financial claims and lower cash holdings. We find that during a recession, trade payables for small businesses with higher trade receivables and lower cash holdings are reduced. The hypothesis that the effects of credit risk on trade payables are weakened is not supported.