Office Depot Small Business Index Shows Small Businesses Have Increasingly Greater Concern About The U.s. Economy
23 August 2011
External Link: www.officedepot.com
Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, today announced the results of its latest Small Business Index, which shows that small businesses have become even more concerned about the nation's economy.
The Office Depot Small Business Index found that only 42 percent of small business owners expect economic improvement over the next six months. This is down from an October high when 58 percent of small businesses expected economic improvement over the coming six months.
In addition, 66 percent of the SMBs surveyed indicated that the economic slump has impacted their business, with 37 percent of respondents saying that business has been either "much worse" or "a little worse." In fact, 79 percent of businesses surveyed do not plan to hire or add to their staff.
More than 40 percent of the SMBs surveyed reported that their profits declined compared to last year. Of those companies, 20 percent saw profit dips of more than 10 percent; and 21 percent experienced decreases of more than 25 percent. Three in 10 businesses (31 percent) said their profitability remained the same.
"Small businesses continue to be deeply affected and concerned by the economy," said Neil Austrian, Chairman and CEO for Office Depot. "In addition to declining profits, small businesses are also worried about inflation, interest rates and qualifying for a bank loan."
As a result of the challenging economic environment, 50 percent of the SMBs surveyed plan on making some alteration to their business strategy or plan in the next six months. The most cited adjustments include changes to: marketing strategy (30 percent); clientele (23 percent); new business philosophy (15 percent); and products and services (15 percent).
To assist small businesses with ongoing needs, Office Depot has developed an online Small Business Resource Center, which provides small businesses with resources to start, grow and maintain their business. Content on the website includes checklists for business start-ups, advice on creating a marketing strategy and information on small business loans.
In addition, Office Depot has also partnered with the Small Business Administration, SCORE and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help meet the needs of today's small businesses.
Survey Methodology/Sample Qualifications
Interviews are conducted via the Internet among a nationally representative sample of Small and Medium Sized Businesses. The July wave of interviewing was conducted from July 13, 2011 to July 20, 2011 among a total of 1,000 small and medium sized businesses. Interviewing will be conducted on a monthly basis in order to track shifts that occur over time.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information contact:
Office Depot, Small Business Administration, SCORE, US Chamber of commerce, Small business Resource Center
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