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New SBAM survey shows small businesses were in a summer holding pattern

November 15, 2012

The Small Business Association of Michigan’s (SBAM) latest November 2012 Small Business Barometer survey of over 1,000 small business owners finds the entrepreneurial economy basically in a static position compared to the June 2012 survey. Entrepreneurs report sales, profits and hiring all advancing at about the same levels as in the spring. Similarly, they anticipate sales, profits and hiring over the next six months to be in line with previous expectations.
“We believe the small business economy, while growing, did not surge this summer partly because of uncertainty about the 2012 election,” says Michael Rogers, vice president communications for SBAM. “Small businesses are still indicating they are optimistic about the future, which we attribute to the ongoing positive effects of business tax reform and the general rebound in Michigan’s economy.”
The survey found that:

  • Forty percent of small business owners said sales had increased over the past six months.
  • Twenty-five percent said profits had increased. 
  • Twenty-one percent said they increased their number of employees.

Looking forward:

  • Forty-two percent said they expect sales to increase to the next six months.
  • Thirty-two percent said they expect profits to increase. 
  • Twenty-four percent plan to hire more employees.

Interestingly in this time of relatively high unemployment, some small businesses complain about their access to qualified personnel. Ten percent rate it as “poor”, 30 percent as “only fair”, 41 percent as “pretty good” and twelve percent as “excellent.” “We continue to hear from small business owners that they are flooded with applicants for job openings but few of the applicants are qualified,” says Rogers.

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