SOURCE: National Association of Women Business Owners

National Association of Women Business Owners

July 06, 2011 09:00 ET

Women Business Owners Show Cautious Optimism About Economic Recovery

Even So, NAWBO® Members Putting Hiring Plans on Hold in Short Term

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jul 6, 2011) - While economists say the recession is over and economic recovery has begun, the business community is not so sure. Recent surveys have shown that the nation's small business owners are remaining cautious and uncertain about short-term economic prospects, and a recent survey of members of the National Association of Women Business Owners® (NAWBO®, www.nawbo.org), sponsored by Deluxe Corp (www.deluxe.com) indicates women business owners share that view. While NAWBO® members are optimistic about the long-term state of the economy, and feel things in their businesses are improving, they remain cautious in the short-term and have put hiring plans on hold so far this year.

"Echoing the concerns they have expressed in each of NAWBO®'s last three annual issue surveys, our members say the state of the U.S. economy is the policy issue of greatest importance to their businesses at the present time," shares NAWBO® President and CEO Helen Han. In fact, 94% -- regardless of business age, size or industry, region of the country or personal characteristics such as age or ethnicity -- report the state of the economy is very or extremely important for them in their business today.

Other key policy concerns identified by this year's NAWBO® member survey include:

  • NAWBO® members say the five issues (of the top 10 tested in the survey) most important for U.S. Congress to concentrate on now are: federal budget deficit (36%) and job creation (36%); health care (14%); Iraq and Afghanistan (3%); and illegal immigration (3%).

  • NAWBO® members are more concerned than the average U.S. adult about reducing the deficit compared to creating jobs, which is not surprising given that our members have created their own jobs. This same question was asked in a CBS/New York Times national poll earlier this year, and in that survey 43% of U.S. adults picked job creation above all other issues that Congress should be working on.

"While most NAWBO® members believe the country is past the worst of the recession, they remain cautious about the short-term economic situation and are less optimistic looking forward to the end of this year than they were last year at this time," says NAWBO® National Chair Kelly Scanlon. "However, in the big picture, women business owners are actually more positive in their view of where we are in the current recessionary cycle than the average American adult."

Similar to a national survey question posed by Ipsos/Reuters in a poll conducted in early 2011, 57% of NAWBO® members and 57% of U.S. adults alike feel the economy has "stabilized but not yet begun to improve." One-quarter (24%) of NAWBO® members, but only 12% of U.S. adults, feel the U.S. economy has "turned the corner on the current crisis."

Also notable, NAWBO® members are more optimistic about their own business prospects than they are about general economic conditions. A 62% majority believe the health of their business will be better by the end of 2011, while 31% feel it will be about the same. Also, 72% of members believe their firm's revenues will be higher by yearend compared with 2010 revenues, including 24% who feel revenues will be up 20% or more. However, 61% say their employment levels will remain unchanged.

"Despite their continued concern about economic conditions and their short-term caution about hiring, we are excited NAWBO® members are very much focused on growing their businesses in the longer term," says Han.

To view the full version of this release with additional highlights and download the complete survey summary, visit http://nawbo.org/content_14502.cfm.

About NAWBO®
Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners® (NAWBO®) propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by: strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; creating innovative and effective change in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers. Learn more at www.nawbo.org.

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