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NSBA today released its 2009 Year-End Economic Report which shows small businesses continue to struggle under the lagging economy and the ongoing credit crunch. The number of small businesses citing decreases in revenue over the past 12 months rose to its highest point since 1993, and 39 percent report they are unable to get adequate financing for their business. Despite a very dismal latter-half of 2009, however, there is small silver lining: the majority of small businesses (52 percent) expect growth opportunities in the coming 12 months.
“Availability of capital has not eased whatsoever for small businesses,” stated Todd McCracken, president and CEO of NSBA. “With most small-business owners projecting some kind of growth in the coming year, it is critical that America’s job creators, small businesses, have access to affordable capital if we have any hope of economic recovery.”
For the first time in two years, there was a slight increase in the number of small businesses who are confident in the future of their own business—up from 58 percent in July 2009 to 61 percent in December 2009. Although a positive shift, the downside is that more than one-third (39 percent) of small-business respondents have concerns about the ongoing viability of their business.
According to the report, 64 percent of small-business owners reported decreases in revenues, up from 62 percent in July 2009. Job growth also continued to suffer. Despite a three-point increase in the number of small-business owners who created new jobs in the last 12 months, there also was an increase in the number who cut jobs—up from 41 percent in July 2009 to 44 percent in December 2009.
Looking ahead to the coming year, growth projections appear to be on an upswing. In August 2008, 57 percent projected an increase in revenues, in July 2009, only 30 percent projected revenue increases. Today, 43 percent project revenue increases. Small-business owners also are projecting a net increase in jobs for the first time in over a year with 24 percent projecting job growth while 18 percent expect job cuts.
“Small businesses continue to face significant hurdles—hurdles Congress has the power to address,” stated NSBA Chair Keith Ashmus, co-founding partner at Frantz Ward in Cleveland, Ohio. “Health care costs continue to weigh heavily on small businesses with 20 percent—one in five—being forced to lay off workers due to rising health care costs.”
The NSBA 2009 Year-End Economic Report survey was conducted the last two weeks in December 2009 among 450 small-business owners from across the country in every industry. Please click here to access the full report.