Q3 Food & Beverage Industry SBRB Study: Owners of Food & Beverage Companies Predict Higher Revenues, More Hiring Next 12 Months Says Current Small Business Research Board Poll

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The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) reported here today that its Food & Beverage Industry Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) increased more than eight points to 48.5 during the third quarter.

Food and beverage companies don't appear to have the same concerns about the economy that are impacting the confidence of the construction and contracting firms as well as small manufacturers. It suggests a demand driven message, that while construction is down and manufacturing may be weakened, food and beverage consumption is not going to weaken.

    The responses of owners and managers of small food and beverage producers participating in the quarterly poll indicated heightened confidence in the economy, predictions for greater revenue and more hiring during the next 12 months. The outlook for the general economy, revenue growth and hiring expectations are three key indicators used to determine the SBCI.

The third quarter SBCI was sharply higher than the 40.3 registered during the second quarter according to the latest SBRB report issued here today co-sponsored by International Profit Associates (IPA).

The current industry SBCI is higher than the overall SBCI of 43 reported for all U.S. small businesses.

The higher food industry SBCI was significantly impacted by an 11 point increase in the respondents (59%) who are projecting revenue increases the next 12 months and a 10 point increase in the respondents (43%) who are expecting overall economic improvement.

Respondents said they are prepared to add staff with 43% predicting they will increase hiring in coming months or three points more than the 40% who said during the second quarter they planned to increase hiring the succeeding 12 months.

"It is interesting how owners and managers of small businesses operating in differing industries can view the same economy so differently," said Gregg M. Steinberg, President of International Profit Associates. "Food and beverage companies don't appear to have the same concerns about the economy that are impacting the confidence of the construction and contracting firms as well as small manufacturers. It suggests a demand driven message, that while construction is down and manufacturing may be weakened, food and beverage consumption is not going to weaken."

More than 800 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research.

The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at http://www.ipasbrb.com.

International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA) is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA and its more than 1,800 professionals offer a wide range of proven and innovative methodologies to help businesses grow and prosper regardless of the economic cycle. IPA either provides directly or through its affiliated companies a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at http://www.ipa-iba.com.

SBRB INDUSTRY COMPARISONS Q3 2007 vs. Prior Quarters

SBRB Food Industry Forecast

Copyright 2007 Small Business Research Board (SBRB)

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the SBRB, please contact Raymond D. Minkus, (847) 441-4192.

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