LANSING — Michigan’s small business owners don’t need extra Halloween frights from spooky trick-or-treaters this year. The October forecast of 2006 business performance is scary enough, with just 47 percent of business owners expecting sales increases next year, the lowest level in the 12-year history of the Barometer.
Spookier yet, only 44 percent expect profits to rise and only 23 percent anticipate hiring more employees next year.
“It’s apparent why small business owners are so glum about the future – 45% said their profits dropped in the third quarter,” said Michael Rogers, vice president communications for SBAM. “A lack of profits means less money for creating jobs: 14 percent of small business owners said they decreased their number of employees and only 13 percent said they increased their worker count. When you consider that more than half of new jobs are created by small business owners, it makes you wonder where the new employment in our state is going to come from.”
There were a couple of silver linings in the quarterly report. Thirty-four percent of businesses with 5-9 employees reported an increase in profits in the third quarter, compared to 15 percent for all small businesses. And positive ratings for accessibility of qualified employees was at the highest level in three years at 52 percent - doubtless a reflection of Michigan’s high unemployment rate.
To learn more, click on SBAM.Org