More than half (55%) of business owners are optimistic about the future, and 64% are optimistic about their 2011 year-end results, according to the December Small Business Authority Market Sentiment Survey.
Most of these business owners believe it will be easier to grow their sales going forward than to reduce their expenses.
Only 20% of respondents were pessimistic about 2012 and their 2011 business results.
“We’re pleasantly surprised at the optimism that is being generated by over 1,000 of our small business clients,” says Barry Sloane, chairman/CEO of The Small Business Authority, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider. “Optimism about their business and the economy and their ability to grow sales has not been apparent in recent months or years.”
Sloane attributes this optimism to recent declines in the unemployment rate, growth in consumer spending, and small hiring gains during the fourth quarter. “Whether this optimism will continue in the first quarter of 2012 is anyone's guess, given that consumer spending growth has not been accompanied by personal income growth.
“Putting that aside,” he continues, “the positive sentiment is clearly a positive sign for the market. If independent business owners become positive about the economy and their own businesses they will hire, spend, and make capital investments. It is potentially very good news for business going into 2012.”
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