December 13, 2011 09:00 ET

Healthy, Wealthy or Wise? Small Businesses Rank Wealth Before Health for 2012

Manta Announces Q3 SMB Wellness Index, Reveals New Business Activity on the Rise Year Over Year

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2011) - Despite a year filled with economic instability, a majority of small business owners (72 percent) say 2011 was a successful year for their company -- and new data shows new business activity saw a boost, too. According to the latest Manta SMB Wellness Index, new business activity was up more than 12 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same time last year. The Manta SMB Wellness Index is a quarterly index on the state of small business released by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. The index examines nationwide data collected from multiple business resources and takes a "pulse" of small business owners on hot topics. Manta's latest survey polled more than 1,000 small business owners about their feelings on the 2011 small business landscape, predictions for 2012 and how their business is impacting their personal well being.

The Manta SMB Wellness Index shows that while new business activity is up year over year, September saw the steepest decline in activity in the past year and half. Moreover, there's been about a 12.5 percent decrease in new business activity in Q3 compared to Q2. Alaska, Utah and Oregon had the sharpest declines in activity year over year, while Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona had the biggest boost in business activity in Q3, as well as the most gains year over year.

"Thanks to the support from our customers and online tools like Manta that help us reach new markets, we've had a successful 2011," said Sherry Sheppard, owner of i love cupcakes, LLC, based in Largo, FL. "As a small business specializing in a niche industry -- gourmet cupcakes -- we know that both our community and online tools have helped us leverage innovative ways to reach people, which prove to be critical components for our continued success."

But that success has come with a price for many small business owners. Almost half of respondents (44 percent) say this year's business climate has taken a toll on their personal health -- one in three say they work out less, 22 percent say they've gained weight and 14 percent say they are more short-tempered and argue with family and co-workers. In addition, Manta's survey found that most small business owners (63 percent) averaged more than 40 hours a week at work, while nearly 1 in 10 report their average work week was upwards of 70 hours.

Luckily, life away from the office has been brighter for small business owners this year; 45 percent say their business has had a positive impact on their personal life. Small business owners say they're happier (31 percent), have more time for family and friends (15 percent) and even report that their marriages have improved (eight percent).

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the national economy, and while things have been difficult in 2011, we see every day that small business owners are committed and hard-working and don't take no for an answer," said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. "In fact, our survey shows that 90 percent of small business owners are optimistic about their company's growth in 2012. Manta is focused on providing small business owners the resources they need to connect, reach new customers and continue their success this year and beyond."

Looking ahead, 70 percent of respondents think the small business economy will improve next year. That's not surprising, since a majority of small business owners (62 percent) rank growing their business as their top New Year's resolution -- ahead of improving relationships with their family, working out more and eating healthier.

For more on the Manta Q3 SMB Wellness Index, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to

About the Manta SMB Wellness Index
The Manta SMB Wellness Index is based on nationwide data compiled from new business licenses, DBA/corporate filings at city, county, and state levels, and is verified with multiple sources including utility information. Manta polled 1,026 small business owners, who are members of and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey about how their health is impacted by their business, in addition to their feelings on the 2011 small business landscape and predictions for 2012, between November 14 and November 21, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.

About Manta
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at


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