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Small Business Cash Flow Concerns Drop To Pre-recession Levels, According To The Spring American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor (Graphic: Business Wire)

Entrepreneurs remain confident about business prospects, but their top priority continues to be maintaining current sources of revenue. Cash flow concerns have fallen to pre-recession levels (49%, matching fall 2007 and down from a high of 66% in spring 2011). In addition, fewer business owners say they are “stressed-out” by the economy (56%, down from a high of 70% in spring 2011) and more feel confident in their ability to access the capital needed to grow their businesses (72%, the highest figure since the question was first asked in 2002).

This spring, small business owners are on a better path to achieving their long-term goals. According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, 54% of small business owners say they are on track to save for the retirement they want (up significantly from 37% a year ago) and fewer (65%, down from 73% a year ago) are worried about setting aside the estimated average $1,170,000 they say they need for the retirement they want.

Small Business Growth Pursuits Are Well Within Reach Despite Economic Uncertainty

Regardless of the economic climate, growth plans are still in the cards, as:
  • Small business owner optimism is holding steady with more than half of them maintaining a positive outlook on business prospects (54%, unchanged from last spring)
  • Fewer say the economy has had a negative effect on their business and its survival is in jeopardy (13%, down from 18% last spring)
  • More than seven-in-ten plan to grow their businesses over the next six months (72% on par with 74% last spring)
  • More than half (55%, up slightly from 50% a year ago) of business owners plan to make capital investments over the next six months

“The recession’s silver lining is that small business owners have become more adept at navigating an uncertain economy, gaining valuable experience and putting it into practice along the way,” said Denise Pickett, president, American Express OPEN. “While they remain optimistic and confident in their ability to manage their businesses, entrepreneurs are realistic that challenges may arise and look beyond themselves – recognizing the importance of community and networking – understanding they do not have to go it alone.”

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