Capital One Bank's First Quarter 2011 Small Business Barometer Survey Suggests Increased Optimism about Overall Economic Conditions
MCLEAN, Va., May 03, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
In recognition of the more than 27 million small businesses across the United States and the role they pla y in driving the nation's economy, the President has designated May 16-20 National Small Business Week. Capital One Small Business is marking this occasion with the release of its Small Business Barometer survey results for the first quarter of 2011. The quarterly survey polls small businesses across the nation, gauging their current financial condition and business projections for the next six months. Survey results for the first quarter of 2011 suggest that many U.S. small businesses are experiencing continued improvement in financial performance, which appears to be contributing to a measured, but increasingly optimistic view of the overall economy. Most small business owners and managers polled, however, continue to guard their spending in the near term. The survey results show that most small business leaders are still holding off on hiring or making additional investments in the business. However, for those businesses considering growth opportunities or for those simply managing ongoing cash flow, the first quarter survey indicates that credit availability continues to improve significantly and fewer small businesses report that they are experiencing cash flow issues.
"Our first quarter survey results suggest that many small businesses in the U.S. are on increasingly solid ground and, while we are still seeing businesses taking a cautious approach to spending and hiring, overall business conditions appear to be improving and their economic outlook has been growing more positive over the past two quarters," said Pete Appello, Executive Vice President of Small Business Banking at Capital One. "We will continue to watch hiring and spending plans carefully in the months to come, nevertheless, it is an encouraging sign that most businesses believe credit and financing is available to them when needed. This will allow small businesses to take advantage of growth opportunities when they are ready."
Outlook and Financial Performance
The survey results for the first quarter of 2011 suggest that U.S. small businesses are increasingly optimistic about overall economic conditions and most businesses polled continue to feel confident that 2011 business performance will be better than it was in 2010. Additionally, an increased percentage of small businesses report that their financial position is stronger than it was one year ago and fewer businesses report that their finances have deteriorated over the same period.
Spending and Hiring
Most U.S. small businesses polled continue to hold off on hiring and plan to keep spending on business development and investments at current levels in the near term. These results have been relatively unchanged over the past year.
Availability of Financing
The survey results suggest that the availability of credit and financing for small businesses continues to grow and fulfilling capital needs is becoming less of a concern for small businesses.
Capital One also asked local businesses about their marketing strategy, including their use of new media. Key findings include:
Anticipated Business Pressures
Capital One polled small businesses about the pressures they anticipate on their business over the next six months. The survey found that activity from competitors and rising fuel costs are key concerns for many U.S. small businesses.
The findings reported in this release are from a telephone survey conducted by the opinion research firm, Braun Research of Princeton, NJ. Braun Research interviewed a nationally-representative sample of 1,903 for-profit small businesses in the U.S., weighted to Dunn and Bradstreet counts of all businesses nationwide by employee size and geography. Samples were also taken in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Small businesses are defined as those with less than $10 million in annual revenue. The interviews were conducted from March 11-29, 2011. All interviews were conducted by telephone at their places of business. One respondent per business was contacted. The margin of error is ± 2.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Interviews were monitored at random. Sampling for this study was conducted using a national sample of businesses drawn from InfoUSA. All interviews were conducted using a computer assisted telephone interviewing system. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Department of Commerce to ensure proper inclusion of all SIC codes.
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $125.4 billion in deposits and $199.3 billion in total assets outstanding as of March 31, 2011. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in Texas, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.
SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation
Capital One Financial Corporation