Evidently, you can. Even though there are 26.8 million small businesses (Yeah, it’s a PDF file. I have no idea why the SBA doesn’t release their press releases as HTML files.) in the United States, PNC thinks they have a handle on how the small business owners feel about the economy. They released their report PNC Economic Outlook Survey Fall 2007 today.
The report is an interesting look at how small business owners think the economy is performing and where it is going. Overall, small business owners aren’t too concerned with the credit or mortgage issues. What they are really concerned about is growing their businesses.
The survey was included a very small sample of businesses, 610. It’s always fascinated me how surveys like this work. What if they hit up small business owners who weren’t really hands on with their business? What about segments that are seemingly recession proof?
I did find this result interesting:
Active Capital Spending Plans: Four out of five (80 percent) plan to make some type of investments in their business, up from 70 percent last Autumn. Technology equipment, mentioned by 26 percent of business owners, is most likely to receive the largest spending increase over the next six months with other types of business equipment (14 percent) a distant second, followed by physical plant and employee training (each at 10 percent).
It appears technology is still the driving factor in business costs.