Despite an Improving Economy, Citibank Survey
Finds that Recession Lingers for Majority of Small
While Many Small Businesses Say they are Performing Better than Expected, Job Creation Lags
Entrepreneurial Spirit Remains Recession-Proof; Younger Small Business Owners are More Optimistic
than Older Ones
May 04, 2010 12:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Though a growing number of economic indicators point to an
improving economy, the latest Citibank small business survey indicates otherwise. An overwhelming majority (77
percent) of small business owners say they believe current business conditions are only fair or poor, while 43 percent
say their own business condition is worse off than it was a year ago. At the same time, however, a majority (58
percent) of small business owners say their business has performed better than expected. Looking ahead, slightly
more than four in 10 said they expect business conditions will improve in the next 12 months, expressing a tempered
level of optimism.
While small businesses have typically led the economy out of recessions, only 17 percent of small businesses expect
to increase their number of full-time employees in the next 12 months. This lack of hiring is being driven by
uncertainty about the economy in general (80 percent), a belief that they have the right number of employees for their
current business volume (79 percent), uncertainty about how their business will do over the next 12 months (75
percent) and diminished sales (70 percent).
When asked what would encourage them to hire additional employees, the majority of small business owners
surveyed said an increase in their business volume (92 percent) or an improved general business climate (81
percent). Another 64 percent would be encouraged to hire if they received a permanent reduction of their payroll tax
rates or if their state, local, sales or property taxes were reduced (54 percent).
Entrepreneurial Spirit Thrives Despite Recession