SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

May 15, 2008 11:44 ET

Distribution & Wholesale Industry Small Business Confidence Increases Nine Points Says Small Business Research Board Report

Improved Outlook on General Economy Core Reason for Boost

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - An increased confidence during the first quarter of 2008 replaced last quarter's concerns about the economy when a significant drop in plans for hiring led to a steep decline in the confidence of distribution and wholesale companies during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the latest Small Business Research Board (SBRB) report issued today.

The SBRB study indicated the Distribution & Wholesale Industry Small Business Confidence Index (D-SBCI) increased to 40 during the first quarter of 2008, or by nine points (29%), from the 31 recorded during the prior quarter. The first quarter 2008 report is the third wholesale and distribution industry confidence index issued by the SBRB. Inclines in two of the three major categories comprising the confidence index contributed to the higher first quarter results.

Of the respondents, 37% said they believed the economy would improve during the next 12 months, which was 13 points higher than the 24% who expressed such concern during the fourth quarter of 2007. Concurrently, 37% of the participants said they would increase hiring during the coming 12 months. This is 22 points more than the 15% who said they had plans for increased hiring when polled for the fourth quarter of 2007.

46% of the owners and managers participating in the poll said they believe revenues will increase during the coming 12-month period. This was 8 points less than the 54% who expressed the same opinion during the prior quarter.

The current distribution and wholesale industry confidence index is 3.67 points lower than the 43.67 reported for all U.S. small businesses during the first quarter of 2008.

More than 1,000 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll.

The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research.

More information can be found at www.ipasbrb.com.

International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA) is the largest privately held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA, and its more than 1,800 professionals, offers a wide range of proven and innovative methodologies to help businesses grow and prosper regardless of the economic cycle. IPA either provides directly, or through its affiliated companies, a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at www.ipa-iba.com.

© 2008 Small Business Research Board

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the Small Business Research Board, please contact Jennifer Cumbee, (847) 495-6786.

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    Jennifer Cumbee
    Small Business Research Board
    847-495-6786
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