Entrepreneurs' Organization Announces Results of Second Annual Economic Survey

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New job creation, but commercial real estate occupancy levels remain constant.

"Hiring that quickly in the new year, means that companies were actually starting to expand their client base and/or bring to market new products at the end of 2009." Dave McMullen, EO-Atlanta president and CEO of redpepper, an advertising firm

Today the Board of Directors of the Atlanta chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO-Atlanta), the leading organization that drives education and insight for entrepreneurs, released publicly the results of its second annual Economic Survey. New to the survey was a series of questions regarding commercial real estate. The study garnered a 50 percent response rate from EO-Atlanta members.

While America's largest corporations are hoarding nearly $1 trillion in cash, it's the entrepreneurial companies that are revving the economy.

  •     86.7 percent of survey respondents indicated that they're hiring.

"What impressed me most with the results is that entrepreneurs are creating new jobs; the majority aren't rehiring or filling vacant positions," said Dave McMullen, president of EO-Atlanta and CEO of redpepper, an advertising firm. "That means that these companies are growing and expanding, which is very good news for our economy."

  •     72 percent of respondents are hiring employees to fill newly created positions
  •     14 percent are filling vacant positions
  •     12 percent are re-hiring previous employees

Unemployment hovers around 10 percent, but that number may start to ease sooner than expected as entrepreneurial companies on-board employees.

  •     58 percent of respondents will hire employees by the end of the second quarter
  •     34 percent will hire steadily throughout 2010

"Hiring that quickly in the new year, means that companies were actually starting to expand their client base and/or bring to market new products and services at the end of 2009," McMullen noted. "The second half of 2010 should be very prosperous."

Economist and business leaders have been watching occupancy trends with earnest, wondering whether to expect a meltdown in commercial real estate similar to residential. While 31.6 percent of respondents currently occupy between 1,001 and 5,000 square feet and 38.6 percent occupy between 5,001 and 25,000 square feet of commercial real estate, they also indicated that they wouldn't lease or purchase additional space in 2010. Growing businesses and hiring new employees is a trend, but entrepreneurs will keep their existing office space. According to McMullen, entrepreneurs behavior toward commercial real estate may be a cost-savings measure or they're just now growing into the spaces that they have.

The Atlanta chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization was founded in 1993. It is one of 113 chapters operating in 38 countries. EO-Atlanta’s mission is to enable leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow through once-in-a-lifetime experiences, peer-to-peer interaction, and connections to experts. EO-Atlanta cumulatively employees 5,000 people, and the average age of the founder is 39 years old. On average, EO-Atlanta members have more than $40 million in annual revenues.

For a full report of the results, contact Jean Creech Avent at jean (at) orgprllc (dot)com or 770-862-7978.

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Jean Creech Avent

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