Economy taking its toll on small business owners – Wells Fargo/Gallup survey finds they’re saving and spending less
The survey found that the economy is affecting small business owners’ spending and savings habits. Half of the business owners surveyed said they’ve postponed a major purchase in the past three months, and nearly as many (44 percent) said they’ve reduced the amount of money they’ve deposited into savings, checking or a CD. Thirty-one percent said they have reduced the amount they have contributed to a retirement account.
“In this economy, I’ve needed to cut back on both my personal and business spending,” said Laine Caspi, owner of Parents of Invention in Granada Hills, CA. “At times, I need to forgo personal purchases so that I can put more money toward business expenses."
Small business owners also show concerns about not having enough money for the future. Seventy-five percent have concerns about paying for gas. More than half (51 percent) are worried they will not have enough money for the next 12 months’ regular medical and dental expenses, and almost half (46 percent) fear they will not have enough money to pay for unforeseen medical emergencies.
“It has been a challenging year for small businesses, requiring business owners to rethink their expense and cash flow priorities,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, head of Wells Fargo’s small business segment. “Times of economic downturn often showcase the resiliency of small business owners. What’s critical now, as in any economic environment, is that business owners maintain strong financial management practices and plan for the future. Our bankers are ready to assist with financial solutions and advice."
About the Small Business Index
For the last 20 quarters, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on their current and future perceptions of the business environment. The quarterly surveys include timely hot topic questions relevant to small business owners. Results are based on telephone interviews with 600 small business owners nationwide conducted April 2-16, 2008. The margin of sampling error is ± 4 percentage points.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $595 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest possible credit rating from both Moody's Investors Service, “Aaa,” and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, “AAA."
Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act data (2006) and the #1 SBA 7a bank lender in total dollar volume. Wells Fargo has loaned close to $36 billion to women, African American, Latino and Asian business owners since 1995. For more information, speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.
About the Gallup Organization
For more than 60 years, the Gallup Organization has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people’s attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup’s current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world’s largest corporations and institutions.
Note to Editors: Survey results available upon request.