While economic uncertainty at the national level is a top concern among middle market executives, many still believe that their companies are on solid ground. More than half (53%) say that their companies are stronger today than before the Great Recession, according to the “CIT Voice of the Middle Market: Perspectives from the Heart of America’s Economy” ( cit.com/middlemarketoutlook) survey released today by CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies. The majority of middle market executives also report that, during the next 12 months, their companies are likely to: increase the range of products and services they offer in current markets (65%); expand into adjacent markets (58%); and enter other geographic regions (54%). In addition, about 4 in 10 middle-market leaders (42%) also expect to expand their workforce in the coming year.
“Middle market companies have long been the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions of Americans and generating trillions in revenue annually,” said John A. Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “At CIT, we recognize the importance of these companies and have been dedicated to providing lending, leasing, and advisory services to the middle market for more than 100 years. This research is another extension of our commitment to this critical group of companies, exploring their views and perspectives on important issues affecting them today.”
According to the research, a vast majority of middle market executives agree that middle market companies are: job creators (97%), barometers of the U.S. economy (95%), and drivers of innovation (91%).
The online survey was conducted by KRC Research among 300 U.S. middle market executives who represented a range of industries. In order to be eligible to participate in the survey, respondents had to be in a leadership role at a firm whose revenue was between $25 million and $1 billion and a majority of whose employees were based in the United States. Dr. Arnoldo Hax, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management Emeritus and a Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, provided guidance and insights throughout the research process.“Although they might often be overlooked for more blue chip companies, the middle market is a critical component of the U.S. economy today,” said Dr. Hax. “The factors that are explored in this research study are of great centrality for every company, but they are particularly critical for the middle market, given the imperative that relies upon them to achieve success.”