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Economy Weighs On SMBs, According To Sentiment Survey Released By Local Corporation

Stocks in this article: LOCM

Local Corporation (NASDAQ: LOCM), a leading online local media company, today reported findings from its first ever Small Business Sentiment Survey. The survey was commissioned to help understand the current sentiment of small business owners as it relates to the economy, the future and their businesses.

Conducted last month by Kelton, a global insights and research firm, the survey polled over 400 small business owners and found:

  • 92 percent of small business owners report that their financial decisions are influenced by the economy
  • 46 percent of respondents would be more confident about their business’ future if their personal income taxes were lowered, and 37 percent would feel this way if there was a change in administration

The survey indicates that small business confidence levels may correlate to whether business owners are hiring or cutting spending. In response to the shaky economy in the last three years, 46 percent of small business owners have considered raising prices, 40 percent have thought about cutting back on marketing spend and 24 percent have considered reducing staff. Importantly, 61 percent of business owners admit they would be willing to take a pay cut themselves to ensure that their own business doesn’t close prematurely.

Additionally, in the past three years, business owners have considered:

  • Reducing operating costs (51 percent)
  • Reducing operating hours (19 percent)
  • Reducing benefits (16 percent) or salaries (16 percent)
  • Closing temporarily (11 percent) or permanently (16 percent)

As small business owners are conserving budgets, they’re also seeking additional value from their advertising spend, which is driving a $5 billion decline in traditional media spend from 2010-2015, offset fully by an $18 billion increase in digital media spend during that same period 1. To capitalize on that growth, Local Corporation has released a full service digital media solution for small businesses to help them reach online consumers:

“Small business is a major growth engine for our economy. We can interpret from these results that when small business owners are not confident about the economy, they look more closely at their expenditures and where they’re getting the most value for their money,” said Heath Clarke, chairman and CEO, Local Corporation. “Based on digital media growth projections, small businesses clearly see the value in moving their dollars from traditional to digital media, which is why we’ve focused our development efforts in this area.”

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