Sunday, June 3, 2012

U.S. Bank Small Business Survey: 71% Say USA in Recession

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US Bank Small Business Survey

U.S. Bank Releases Results of 2012 Small Business Annual Survey

Business improves though most small business owners still believe the economy is in recession

MINNEAPOLIS - (BUSINESS WIRE) - May. 30, 2012 - Small business owners' view of the economy may have improved in 2012, but 71 percent still believe the United States economy is in a recession according to results of the 2012 U.S. Bank Small Business Annual Survey. Closer to home, the survey found more small business owners consider the financial health of their company as "good" to "excellent." Sales volatility is less of a concern now than in years past, and the number one business issue on their minds in the 2012 election is healthcare reform.

Now in its third year, the U.S. Bank Small Business Annual Survey polled 3,220 small business owners with $10 million or less in annual revenues. Owners were surveyed between March and April 2012 in the 25 states where U.S. Bank provides small business banking services, primarily in the Midwest and Western United States. The questions centered on economic conditions, business conditions, business challenges, 2012 election issues, work/life balance and banking relationships.

"Small business owners are creating ways to succeed, despite lingering concerns about the economy," said Rick Hartnack, vice chairman of consumer and small business banking at U.S. Bank. "Business is rebounding, especially among businesses with at least $1 million in annual sales and five or more employees. For those businesses, prospects for growth are particularly strong, as are their plans to hire."

Business Conditions Improve, Economy Still a Concern

Overall, 69 percent of respondents said the financial health of their business was "good," "very good" or "excellent," up from 64 percent in 2011. This year, 29 percent said they saw revenue increase over last year, which is up slightly from 26 percent in 2011. Less than half expect to see revenue improve next year, however the numbers jump among businesses with at least $1 million in annual sales. For these larger businesses, 40 percent saw an increase in sales over 2011, 58 percent expect revenue to grow next year and 34 percent say they plan to hire in the next 12 months.

"Economic uncertainty" remains the number one concern cited among respondents, however "poor sales" - the second-biggest challenge for the past two years - is less of a concern in 2012 with only 12 percent citing sales as a challenge. Healthcare reform is a growing concern, with 60 percent saying they believe it will negatively impact their business, up from 57 percent in 2011 and 55 percent in 2010. States where small business owners are less concerned about healthcare reform than the national average include Washington, Oregon, California and Illinois.

Top Small Business Issues for the 2012 Election

The five top business issues on the minds of small business owners in the 2012 election are healthcare/Medicare, jobs and unemployment, taxes, the federal deficit/debt and Social Security. When asked which issues are more important this year versus the 2008 election, most said healthcare/Medicare, followed by the federal deficit/debt, jobs/unemployment, energy costs and taxes. When asked what they would do if they were the president of the United States for one day, small business owners said they would lower taxes, reduce regulations and tackle health insurance issues.

U.S. Bank Releases Results of 2012 Small Business Annual Survey

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