Small Businesses are Optimistic About 2009 Finances

While small business owners don’t see a quick economic recovery, a large number expect their companies to be in the same or better financial shape at the end of 2009, according to the UPS Business Monitor United States.

The survey was conducted by TNS—a global market and insight group—in two waves, the first in September and October 2008, with a follow-up in December, as economic conditions deteriorated. Results of the first survey indicated 91% of small business owners with the positive outlook. There was a slight decline in the optimism in the December study, with 86% of the owners still upbeat.

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While small business owners don’t see a quick economic recovery, a large number expect their companies to be in the same or better financial shape at the end of 2009, according to the UPS Business Monitor United States.

The survey was conducted by TNS—a global market and insight group—in two waves, the first in September and October 2008, with a follow-up in December, as economic conditions deteriorated. Results of the first survey indicated 91% of small business owners with the positive outlook. There was a slight decline in the optimism in the December study, with 86% of the owners still upbeat.

Reflecting on the economy generally, 47% of the small business respondents offered a realistic view that the US economy would not begin to improve until 2010. That result climbed to 67% in the December survey.

International trade plays a part in the perceptions of small business owners. TNS reports that in the first survey 56% of owners that participate in cross border trade expect their company to be in better economic shape in a year, compared with 41% of owners who do not. After the second survey, 62% of owners engaged in international trade were optimistic about their businesses compared with 39% of non-traders. However, according to the survey, 73% of small business owners do not participate and do not plan to participate in international trade.

Alan Gershenhorn, UPS senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, observes, "This survey shows that the vast majority of small-business owners are missing out on the key opportunities offered by international trade. By expanding opportunities in new markets, cross-border trade can help small businesses diversify, buffering them against risk, and helping them stay strong in tough times."

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