Business optimism up (at least for smaller firms)

A recent report says Pennsylvania-based small business owners have shown ambition above the national average, with 81 percent planning to grow their business over the next six months.

A recent report says Pennsylvania-based small business owners have shown ambition above the national average, with 81 percent planning to grow their business over the next six months.

That’s 12 percent higher than the national average of 69 percent, and 16 percent higher than the Northeast average.

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey, also showed that 64 percent of small business owners now pay themselves a salary, up from 47 percent last fall. On average they earn $69,600 per year, up from $58,000 a year ago.

Despite their plans for growth, 83 percent are stressed out over the economy (24 percent higher than the national average of 59 percent), and 63 percent report cash flow issues (compared to a 53 percent national, and 50 percent Northeast average).

“We’ve seen a slow but gradual increase in optimism,” said Alice Bredin, small business advisor for American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor.

“Typically, if you see a spike on a regional basis, it has to do with business in that area.”

Heather McCloskey, chief executive officer of McCloskey Partners LLC of Perkasie, is optimistic.

“We are in the process of growing, for us, 2011 into 2012 was our biggest growth year,” she said. “Going into 2013, we are projecting even more growth.”

McCloskey, who is the sole owner of the 12-person human resources solution provider, is adding five positions now, plus another five in 2013.

“The economy does seem to be rebounding in my opinion as well as for several of my clients,” she noted.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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