SurePayroll Main Street Insights Survey: Many Small Business Owners Not Hurt By Bad Economy

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Survey shows that four out of ten small business owners say the down economy has not negatively impacted their businesses

Main Street is doing better than most people think

A survey conducted this month by online payroll service SurePayroll has found that nearly 4 out of 10 small business owners have not seen their business negatively impacted by the down economy, and an additional 4% indicated that their businesses are actually doing better.

Of those who said their businesses were negatively impacted by the economy, nearly 9 out of 10 cited declining revenues as the main effect. However, of that group, 7 out of 10 cited a "small drop in revenues" while only 3 out of 10 indicated a "significant drop in revenues."

"Main Street is doing better than most people think," notes Michael Alter, President of SurePayroll. "While it's true that many small businesses are struggling, there is still a healthy contingent of small business owners who are holding their own in this difficult economy, and many who are managing to grow their businesses even in these tough times."

-- Free Market Is Working Just Fine for Small Business --

Unlike their large-company counterparts, many small businesses are doing well without any need for government bailout.

The survey suggests that small business owners are generally not in favor of government bailouts. 67% of respondents do not believe the government should bail out the automotive industry in Detroit.

On average, small businesses are in fact hiring in this down economy. SurePayroll's Small Business Scorecard, a set of economic indicators that tracks small business hiring trends, reported that in November, small businesses across the country managed to increase their staff levels by 0.26%. Year-to-date, small business hiring is up 3.3% nationwide.

"You're not seeing the large scale layoffs that you see in larger companies," says Alter. "Small businesses tend to run lean and mean relative to their large company counterparts. There isn't usually much fat to cut, and new hires are added only when business levels justify the expense."

With no bailout options for small businesses, many business owners are cutting costs to keep from running in the red. More than half of survey respondents indicated that they will be cutting back expenses in 2009, with sales/marketing and human resources being mentioned as the top areas for cuts.

These planned cuts are based on a widespread belief among entrepreneurs that the current recession may last longer than most people anticipate. 44% of respondents think the recession will be over by the end of 2009, but the majority (56%) say they think the economy will not turn around until after 2010. Only 56% of respondents indicate that they are currently optimistic about the small business economy.

Alter believes the government's current focus on bailing out large companies is misguided. He advocates that government instead provide incentive for small business owners.

"Despite our national obsession with the large stock exchange indices, the true driver of American GDP growth has always been small business, which manages to drive economic growth simply by focusing on the basic blocking and tackling principles of entrepreneurship," notes Alter. "Imagine what small business owners could do if the government actually made their lives a little easier and gave them a few incentives to grow their companies and hire more employees."

About SurePayroll:

Voted Editor's Choice for best payroll service by PC Magazine, a Top 100 Product by Accounting Today and finalist in the Best Customer Care and Best Product categories of the 2008 American Business Awards, SurePayroll is America's largest full-service online payroll service and honoree of the of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Businesses award two years in a row.

SurePayroll is passionate about small businesses and their payroll. The company is dedicated to providing an extremely friendly and simple payroll experience - at a price small business owners can afford.

In addition to its payroll and ClickFREETM tax file and pay service - which allows a user to complete the entire payroll process in minutes - SurePayroll offers a suite of online services designed specifically for small business, including HR and compliance resources, 401(k) retirement solutions, health insurance and workers' compensation products.

SurePayroll also offers a private-label and co-branded payroll service to accountants and banking partners to offer payroll processing to their small business clients.


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Frank Krolicki
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