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Same-store sales made with credit and debit cards at more than 50,000 businesses tracked by Capital Access Network Inc. fell for the eighth consecutive quarter, the New York-based firm said in its inaugural Small Business Credit Sales Report. Credit and debit usage at these merchants fell 14.84% in the third quarter from its third-quarter 2008 level. A Capital Access Network spokesperson says actual volume figures were not available. The report says same-store sales, which measures sales volume at merchants in business for more than a year, last grew in the third quarter of 2007. The report also found that small markets, while still affected by poor sales, are less affected than larger ones. Population areas of less than 100,000 people saw a 9.81% decrease in same-store sales in the 2009 third quarter compared with the 2008 third quarter. Population areas of 1 million or more experienced a same-store sales decline of 16.59% for the same time period.

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