Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Small Business Bullish Says National Survey

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Small Business Bullish Says National Survey

Article excerpt

About six out of ten small-business owners and managers think the economy will be in better shape in 1996 than in 1995, according to the fourth semi-annual KeyCorp Survey of Small Business Sentiment. An equal number expects companies' earnings to increase in 1996--on average 26%.

For bankers, the message from the statistics will be simple: lend. "It's time for capital," says Sandra Maltby, senior vice-president--small business services, at KeyCorp, Cleveland.

The survey, conducted for KeyCorp by The Wirthlin Group, analyzed more than 400 responses from small-businesses nationwide. It defined small businesses as companies with $1 to $3 million in annual sales.

Exploring earnings optimism

KeyCorp credited the small-business owners' optimism in part to their perception that regulatory relief is beginning to be accomplished. However, the most frequent advice the respondents had for the federal government was to produce more relief.

KeyCorp found the upbeat view of future earnings more prevalent in those who had been in business for 20 years or less. While 67% of the newer entrepreneurs expect earnings to be up in 1996, only 52% of longer-term owners expected improvement.

In addition, more owners and managers (76%) who are in the manufacturing and service industries expected revenues to rise than did those in the wholesale/retail trade (58%). Likewise, those owners in the manufacturing and service industries were more upbeat about the country's economic outlook. …

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