NAWBO Members' Optimism Rebounding
A 2010 Survey Shows 61 Percent Feel the Health of the U.S. Economy Is Improving
Washington D.C.—When the first signs of life appear from the most challenging economic environment in decades, it will be critical for businesses to think and act quickly to capture opportunities. A 2010 survey of members of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shows that women business owners believe that time is now. A 61-percent majority of NAWBO members surveyed feel the health of the US economy is improving, and will be better at the end of 2010 than it is today. This is up from 54 percent in 2009 and just 26 percent in 2008.
Other NAWBO survey highlights include:
• With respect to their own business prospects, 65 percent expect improvements in 2010, while 11 percent expect them to worsen and 24 percent remain about the same. Last year in contrast, 54 percent believed things in their business would get better, 15 percent thought they would worsen and 30 percent thought they would hold the line.
• Plans for employment are likewise on the rise: 34 percent of NAWBO members will hire new workers this year, compared to just 24 percent who said they’d be adding jobs last year. Just 9 percent will be trimming staff levels in 2010, compared to 17 percent who said they would be doing that in 2009.
• NAWBO members’ capital investment plans are also on the rebound: 21 percent plan to increase capital investment this year, while 33 percent will stay the same. In early 2009, just 17 said they would be increasing capital investment, while 40 percent were planning on holding the line.
“This year’s NAWBO survey is an excellent example of the growing optimism among women business owners in particular,” says NAWBO President & CEO Helen Han. “While women business owners are optimistic about the year ahead, they remain concerned about key issues such as the state of the economy, business tax issues and the cost and availability of healthcare. Issues like access to capital, national security, education policies, federal contracting opportunities and immigration reform also rank high.”
For example, when asked what President Obama and Congress should address in 2010, health care prevails (at 51 percent), followed by:
• The economy (37 percent)
• Reducing taxes/tax cuts (24 percent)
• Access to capital for small business (17 percent)
• Reduce government spending/less government/reduce deficit (16 percent)
• Jobs/unemployment (14 percent)
• Terrorism/national security (12 percent)
As the unified voice of more than 10 million women-owned businesses across the country, NAWBO—in partnership with international advocacy services firm Hogan & Hartson—will be addressing many of these issues that impact women business owners in 2010, beginning with access to capital and federal procurement opportunities “The mission of NAWBO encompasses propelling women entrepreneurs into political spheres of power worldwide,” says NAWBO Public Policy Committee Chair Kelly Scanlon. “We are excited to be in a strong position to actively engage in the political process to make an impact for women business owners both now and in the future.”