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Small Business Opinion Panel

MOSourceLink and KCSourceLink Small Business Outlook Survey

4th Quarter 2011

(3rd Quarter results can be found here)

Are banks back to lending?

We keep hearing reports that banks are once again lending and businesses are hiring.  The reports sound positive, but we were curious to know what actual small business owners around the Kansas City area thought.

The results come from the Opinion Panel. Once each quarter MOSourceLink and its sister program, KCSourceLink,  invite a small sampling of area business owners to share their opinions and expectations on small business issues.  While not a scientific sampling, the panel does provide a meaningful gauge of small business confidence and expectations. Below are the results from the latest survey, conducted in December 2011.  

Accessing capital, is there any to be had?

This quarter we asked our panelists, "Have you sought bank financing in the past year?  If so, how did it go?  If not, why not?"  Below are the results of what our panelists said.

Have you sought bank financing in the last 12 months?

 31% assumed they could not get a loan

If you needed funding and did not approach a bank, where did you get funding?

 Most funded their needs via family, friends and credit cards

Expectations for the next Quarter

As we saw in the previous quarter, the majority of panelists are optimistic about business operations over the next 90 days.  None of the respondents expect to contract their business, while 48% anticipate business expansion.

90-Day Growth Expectations:  Contraction or expansion

 48% expect to expand, 52% expect to stay the same, none expect contraction

90-Day Growth Expectations:  Employee count

 22% expect to add employees, only 2% expect to layoffs

 90-Day Growth Expectations:  Expected change in sales

Expectations:  44%=increase, 44% stay the same, 11% decrease in sales 

Panelists were generally optimistic about the outlook for both the current year and next year.  It will be interesting to see if opinions change on these questions in upcoming quarters.

This year will be better for business in general compared to last year

 59% agree, 17% neutral, 24% disagree

I expect this year will be better for MY business than last year

85% agree 

Next year will be better for business in general than the current year 

 79% agree

Next year will be better for my business than the current year

78% agree