SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

May 20, 2008 10:00 ET

Q1 Small Business Research Board Food & Beverage Industry Key Issues Report: More Food & Beverage Companies Prepare for Employee Growth in the Next 12 Months Says Latest SBRB Report

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - May 20, 2008) - More owners and managers of small food and beverage businesses indicated, during the first quarter of 2008, that they are planning to increase hiring during the next 12 months and expect an increase in employees versus their 2007 statistics, according to the latest Small Business Research Board (SBRB) study released here today.

Of the owners and managers responding to the nationwide quarterly SBRB poll co-sponsored by International Profit Associates, 44% said they plan to increase hiring over the next 12 months. This was an increase of 28 points from the 16% who said, during the fourth quarter of 2007, that they were planning to increase hiring. Concerning the total number of employees, 41% of the respondents expect their statistics in 2008 to increase from 2007. Only 8% thought they would have fewer employees in the coming year.

Meanwhile, the quarterly report said 46% of the businesses have raised prices in response to increased fuel costs. For those businesses adjusting to an increase in fuel prices, 25% have reduced business travel, 22% have reduced other costs and 19% are experiencing a higher level of just-in-time ordering. Eliminating routes, or reducing the length of delivery routes, and committing to new vehicles with better miles per gallon efficiency was the fifth-mentioned possibility for offsetting costs.

The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) previously reported that its Food & Beverage Industry Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) decreased by more than 18 points to 30 during the fourth quarter of 2007. The responses of owners and managers of small food and beverage producers participating in the quarterly poll indicated a weakened confidence in the economy, predictions for lower revenue and less hiring. The outlook for the general economy, revenue growth and hiring expectations are three key indicators used to determine the SBCI.

The first quarter of 2008 food and beverage SBCI (set at 43) was sharply higher than the 30 registered during the fourth quarter of 2007.

The SBCI, during the first quarter of 2008, for all U.S. small businesses was 43.67, a decline of nearly 10 points from the prior period. The historical SBRB SBCI high occurred during the first quarter of 2005 when the SBCI hit 52 points. The historical low was during the third quarter of 2005 when the SBCI fell to 39.3 points.

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

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

© 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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