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December 11, 2018

Press Release

Florida's small businesses still optimistic - but less than last year

Survey by 2016 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor

| 4/28/2016

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, conducted since 2002, is based on a nationally representative sample of small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees.

A new survey of Florida small business owners finds seven in ten (71%) plan to grow their business over the next six months -- which is good, but is down significantly from last year's 81%. More than one quarter of Florida business owners (27%) are planning to hire within the next six months, down dramatically from last spring (40%). In terms of paying themselves a salary, 62% of Florida small business owners do pay themselves - a stat unchanged from last spring. But that 62% is much higher compared with business owners in the south (48%) and U.S. businesses overall (51%).

Florida Business Owner Highlights

Florida Entrepreneurs Have a Less Positive Outlook Small Businesses Overall 2016 Florida Small Business Owners 2016 Southern Small Business Owners 2016
Have a Positive View of the Economy 64% 62% 66%
Plan to Grow their Business 75% 71% 77%
Confident they can Access Capital they Need to Grow 83% 79% 83%
Have Capital Investment Plans 51% 50% 53%
Have Cash Flow Concerns 36% 33% 37%
Have Hiring Plans 39% 27% 36%
Use Social Media for their Business 57% 65% 57%
Say they are Optimists and See the Glass as “Half-full” 84% 89% 87%
Pay themselves a Salary 51% 62% 48%
Florida Entrepreneurs and Retirement Small Businesses Overall 2016 Florida Small Business Owners 2016 Southern Small Business Owners 2016
On Track Saving for Retirement 57% 63% 62%
Worried About Ability to Save 53% 46% 44%

 
Noteworthy Florida business owner highlights are as follows:

  • More than seven in ten (71%) plan to grow their business over the next six months, down significantly from last year (81%)
  • They are more likely to say they are on track to save the funds they need for retirement compared to a year ago (63%, up dramatically from 46%) and when compared to business owners overall (57%) but on par with business owners in the South (62%)
  • They have a much less positive outlook for their business prospects over the next six months compared to a year ago (62%, down significantly from 77%), and when compared to both business owners in the South (66%) and business owners overall (64%)
  • Sixty-two percent pay themselves a salary (unchanged from last spring) much higher compared with business owners in the south (48%) and businesses overall (51%).
  • Half of Florida business owners (50%) will make capital investments over the next six months, down dramatically from last spring (66%)
  • Less than half (46%, down dramatically from 60% last spring) are worried about their ability to save for the retirement they want
    • On average business owners believe they will need $1,230,000 to retire; $50,000 more than last year’s estimate
  • Thirty-three percent of Florida business owners report cash flow issues over the next six months, down significantly from last spring (45%)
  • Their most important priority is keeping/maintain their current business and sources of revenue (33%) followed closely by growing their business (32%)
  • Over the last three years, on average they report thirteen percent revenue growth which is less than the seventeen percent growth experienced by business owners in the South and fourteen percent revenue growth experienced by business owners overall

Business Outlook and Plans for Growth
According to the Monitor, Florida business owners have a much less positive outlook for their business prospects over the next six months compared to a year ago (62%, down significantly from 77%), and when compared to both business owners in the South (66%) and business owners overall (64%). More than one third of Florida entrepreneurs say the issue that will most influence their vote in November is the economy (36%).  The most important priority for Florida business owners is keeping/maintain their current business and sources of revenue (33%) followed closely by growing their business (32%).

More than seven in ten (71%) plan to grow their business over the next six months, down significantly from last year (81%).  Over the last three years, Florida business owners on average report thirteen percent revenue growth which is less than the seventeen percent growth experienced by business owners in the South and fourteen percent revenue growth experienced by business owners overall.

Hiring Plans

More than one quarter of Florida business owners (27%) are planning to hire within the next six months, down dramatically from last spring (40%).  More than one in ten (11%) plan to hire only full-timers, 9% plan to hire both full and part-timers and 8% plan on hiring only part-timers.

Addressing Cash Flow Issues
Thirty-three percent of Florida business owners report cash flow issues over the next six months, down significantly from last spring (45%).  The biggest worry among entrepreneurs is the ability to pay bills on time (10%), followed by having enough cash to win new business and the ability to track cash flow (each, 7%) and the ability to meet payroll and accounts receivable (each, 4%).

Investments in the Company and Access to Capital
Half of Florida business owners (50%) will make capital investments over the next six months, down dramatically from last spring (66%).  For Florida entrepreneurs who plan to invest, technology investments lead the category (44%). Additional investments include office equipment (16%), manufacturing/production equipment (10%), office furnishings (3%) and real estate investments (6%).

Nearly eight-in-ten entrepreneurs (79%, down from 84% a year ago) are confident they can access the capital they need to build their businesses.

Social Media Usage     
Nearly two-thirds of Florida business owners (65%, on par with 61% last spring) who use social media for their business, and the greatest number are using Facebook (48%) followed by LinkedIn (16%),  Google+ (14%), Instagram (13%), Twitter and YouTube (each, 10%), foursquare (6%), blogs (8%), Pinterest and daily deal sites (each, 3%). 

Compensation and Retirement
More than six-in-ten Florida business owners pay themselves a salary (62%, unchanged from last spring) much higher compared with business owners in the south (48%) and businesses overall (51%).

Florida business owners are more likely to say they are on track to save the funds they need for retirement compared to a year ago (63%, up dramatically from 46%) and when compared to business owners overall (57%) but on par with business owners in the South (62%). Less than half (46%, down dramatically from 60% last spring) are worried about their ability to save for retirement. On average business owners believe they will need $1,230,000 to retire; $50,000 more than last year’s estimate.

Survey Methodology

American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, conducted since 2002, is based on a nationally representative sample of 739 U.S. small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. The anonymous survey was conducted via telephone by Ebiquity March 1-21, 2016. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.6% at the 95% level of confidence.

States within the South include Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

About American Express OPEN  

American Express OPEN is a leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners and entrepreneurs with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at www.OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com and twitter.com/openforum.

Tags: Florida Small Business

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