Many Small Businesses Continued to Grow over 2013

The economic recovery seen over the last several years has put many small businesses into a position in which they can succeed and grow. This trend certainly continued last year as many independent companies reported improvements in a number of ways.

A recent poll of small businesses on Long Island conducted by the Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research showed that 36 percent of such companies were able to expand last year, according to a report from New York Newsday. That’s an increase from slightly more than one quarter, in which similar success was reported in 2012. In addition, close to three out of every four companies surveyed said that they had plans to hire more workers over the next five years.

Further, 36 percent of owners said that they’d seen conditions remain very good, or fairly good, over the course of last year, the report said. That’s an improvement from the 32 percent who felt the same way two years ago, but is up considerably from just 19 percent who responded similarly in 2011.

Some concerns still linger
Of course, not every aspect of the economic recovery is viewed favorably by these small businesses, the report said. For instance, only 12 percent of those polled say that they are confident elected officials in Washington, D.C., will help to improve conditions for small businesses across the country. That’s down from 27 percent who felt the same way a year earlier.

“We’re in something of a national funk,” Leonie Huddy, a Stony Brook professor of political science who directed the survey, told the newspaper. “Part of that is due to government in Washington and the dysfunction we see there.”

Slightly more than half of all owners surveyed said that the worst aspect of owning their own company was the stress and financial pressure that came with it, the report said. Along those lines, nearly three out of 10 said that they work 60 hours a week or more.

Owners who are concerned about the ways in which they might be positioned to grow over the coming year may want to consider the ways in which reducing their various expenses, such as those for small business insurance, will help them to save money. For example, finding more affordable commercial insurance may allow them to save thousands of dollars per year which can then be devoted to other aspects of the company.