NEW YORK, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners are seeing a new economic reality unfold with a majority believing the U.S. economy will not regain its former economic position, according to new findings published today by Portfolio.com, the national business news site for SMB executives.
While SMB owners see the global economic power centers shifting, with London, Dubai and Hong Kong becoming as important as Wall Street, they still remain more optimistic about their business prospects than during any other point in the last two years. The findings of the proprietary study, which was conducted by The Business Journals, provides a comprehensive look into the make-up, attitudes and economic landscape of the SMB market. The Business Journals and Portfolio.com are both owned by American City Business Journals.
"Business owners recognize a new global reality after three years of an extremely harsh U.S. economy. Simply put, the people leading small and mid-sized businesses no longer believe that the United States has a good chance of coming back stronger than it was before," said J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com's editor. "Yet, they also believe their own businesses are on the upswing. It's an interesting dichotomy in attitudes."
While only 43 percent believe the U.S. would regain its former economic position, SMB owners are adapting and are optimistic about the growth of their businesses. A majority of respondents (57 percent) are expecting their company to grow over the next few years, with 68 percent also noting that sales growth is on the rise.
"The recession drove the closure of roughly 150,000 businesses between 2007 and 2009, and our latest findings confirm that the SMB owners believe that the tide has finally turned in their favor," said Godfrey Phillips, Vice President for Research at The Business Journals. "While SMB owners have a more optimistic view and stronger projections for growth than they have had in years, they are still concerned about a number of factors that can derail their success and the rebounding U.S. economy."
SMB expenditures are expected to increase by 5 percent in 2011 versus last year, according to the study. Respondents noted that the largest increases to their expenses are health insurance (26.6 percent), online marketing (62 percent) and professional services (12.5 percent).
"Costs associated with health insurance and employee benefits were ranked as the number one expense and concern," added Phillips. "Interestingly, those issues ranked higher than the health of the overall U.S. economy," said Phillips.
The national "SMB Insights 2011" market study was conducted from November 2010 to January 2011, and interviewed more than 2,000 SMB owners with 1-499 employees. The purpose of this study was to survey these SMB owners on their attitudes, expenditures, profiling, brand ratings and the economy.
Portfolio.com is the national business news site for small and mid-sized business executives and entrepreneurs. Comprising original, in-depth reporting, thought-provoking insights, colorful features, exclusive analysis of custom research, and an intelligent business-news filtering tool, Portfolio.com is the first national business media outlet dedicated solely to delivering actionable news and information to this coveted audience. Portfolio.com relaunched in December 2009 as the information destination for business executives, insiders and strategists within the growing and profitable American City Business Journals. Follow portofilio.com on twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
About The Business Journals
The Business Journals is the premier media solutions platform for companies strategically targeting business decision makers. We deliver a total business audience of more than 10 million people via our 42 websites, 64 publications and more than 700 annual industry leading events.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., The Business Journals has sales offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It is a subsidiary of American City Business Journals, a unit of Advance Publishing, Inc., whose properties include Condé Nast Publications and the Fairchild and Golf Digest Companies.