The results of the March 2013 Greenwich Market Pulse survey show that US owners and executives at small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are expecting to see growth in 2013.
A majority of the small and mid-sized companies surveyed by Greenwich Associates expect revenues and profits to increase this year, with 62% of executives at mid-sized firms predicting revenues will grow by 1% or more, while 29% expect revenue growth of 5% or more, and 55% expect profit growth.
A similarly optimistic view is held by small businesses participating in the March 2013 Greenwich Market Pulse survey, with 56% expecting revenue growth in 2013 and 48% predicting profits to grow. A majority of firms in both categories also expect staffing levels to either hold steady or increase this year – a positive sign for the US employment market.
The picture is not all rosy, however, with US SMEs worried about the impact of the US government’s Affordable Healthcare Act and still unsure about what the ‘fiscal cliff’ tax deal might mean for them. The results of the 2012 US presidential election reaffirmed the continued implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act, but mid-sized companies and small businesses are still unsure of exactly what it will mean to them. Only about one third of both segments believe they fully understand the implications of the legislation, according to Greenwich Associates, and about two-thirds are unconvinced that the act will have any benefit to their businesses in the mid- to long-term. This is especially evidenced by the small portion of small businesses that have changed healthcare plan providers in the last year (9%) and the larger portion who have taken no proactive step to better manage healthcare costs (39% have taken no action to minimise costs in 2013).
Nonetheless, 81% of small businesses and 97% of mid-sized companies surveyed reported that they offered a healthcare plan to their employees – and three-quarters of those plans had a full coverage option.
Despite countless news coverage dedicated to the US ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations, the impact of the resulting deal on the 2013 tax situations of US companies remains a mystery to most business owners and executives, says the survey. Only 41% of small businesses and 51% of mid-sized companies indicated that they “somewhat” or “completely” agree that they have a solid understanding of their tax situations.
“Our research shows that although small businesses and mid-sized companies are relatively optimistic about the prospects of their businesses in 2013, they are still slightly less sanguine about the economy as a whole,” concluded Greenwich Associates consultant, David Heiner.
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