How Are Small Businesses Feeling About 2011? Survey Says…

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Optimism is the word of the day from PR News Wire, which has the scoop on a recent survey from The Sage Group of small businesses across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany.

The economic recessions in North America and Europe shook the confidence of businesses around the world, many of whom saw plummeting sales as consumer confidence also went down the drain. But as the economy lumbers to its feet again, many of those businesses are feeling better about their chances in 2011.

The Sage Group found that of the respondents in the five countries, 41 percent felt this year would bring better business than a shaky 2010. The most optimistic were the Germans, with a 55 percent rate, while the French businesses polled were the most dour, with only 34 percent feeling better about 2011. On average, some 19 percent reported feeling less confident.

Taken as a whole, it’s a sort of tempered optimism. The fact that a majority of respondents were positive in only one country speaks to some well-earned caution after previous forecasts that the economy would rebound over the last few years turned out to be off. You can certainly forgive small businesses with little margin for error for being skeptical about their fortunes, but hopefully they’ll have some good news to celebrate soon.

The majority of businesses polled also said that less government regulation and a lighter hand with legislation would be key to fostering growth for small businesses in the years ahead. Overhead costs and revenues remain concerns, as they so often are in both good and bad times.

In Direct Capital’s own backyard, the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center just released a poll of some 520 participants across the state. That poll found that 44 percent believe good things lie ahead in 2011 for the economy, 28 percent believed the forecast is a mixed one and 28 percent are feeling glum about their prospects. When asked about the national economy, respondents were more pessimistic: Only 34 percent were convinced the economy would tick upward in 2011, compared to 42 percent who believed bad times were ahead.

How are you feeling about the economy this year?

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