Small business poll: 58% say the worst is over

A flurry of recent polls suggest that small-business owners are beginning to see a faint, if sometimes sputtering, light at the end of the Great Recession tunnel.
Well, sort of.
Though a majority – 70 percent – of California small-business owners still rate current business conditions as “fair to poor,” 58 percent believe the worst is over and that business this year will be “as steady as a rock,” according to a survey released today by Citibank.
And 63 percent of small-business owners nationwide are confident in the long-term success of their business, compared to only 54 percent who were optimistic last year, according to another poll released yesterday by FedEx Office, a division of FedEx.
“As the largest creator of jobs in California, small businesses are crucial to boosting employment and driving economic recovery in the state,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, president of Citibank California. “So we are encouraged at these findings, which indicate that California small businesses are out of the deep survival mode they have been in for the past two years, and are moving into growth mode.”
Among the polls findings:
– Nearly half of California small businesses plan to expand this year
– 56 percent will offer new products and services
–67 percent say they will increase marketing.

Businesses that are positioned for growth today have all endured 2+ years of tough business conditions. Many have limited cash to fund the new growth opportunities ahead. Factoring supports stronger growth and offers credit decisions usually in less than 7 business days.

Of course, there are polls, and then there are polls. And others aren’t so sanguine.
In March, the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small-Business Optimism Index – which measures components such as job creation and capital spending – dropped dramatically, ending several consecutive months of slow but steady growth.
The decline, which hit near-Recession level lows, was driven by “weaker expectations” for sales gains and business conditions and a “marked deterioration” in profit trends among the almost 900 business owners polled, according to Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist.
While there was no clear culprit behind the small-business owners’ downbeat take on business conditions, inflation concerns are a likely factor, according to Dunkelberg.
After two years of owners cutting selling prices, many businesses reported raising prices. And increases in energy costs will exacerbate pricing problems in coming months, said Dunkelberg.
Optimism among small-business owners remains fragile, and likely to waiver with every twitch in the economy this year, he said.
“Perhaps this is a ‘new normal’ and we are unlikely to see the surges usually experienced at the start of a recovery,” said Dunkelberg. “Times are different; government, with new taxes and more restrictions, is a larger drag on the small business community.”

Factoring supports strong business growth AND keeps the business in control of financing costs. Businesses that keep growing will be stronger than those which do not and often will win new business at the expense of weaker businesses.

We are happy to discuss our factoring programs between 9-5 PST at (800) 790-3419. You may also visit our website Oxygen Funding for more information.

All of the items in italics are our comments on the original article.

Excerpts from SignOn San Diego article posted on THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011 AT 9 A.M.

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