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Small Businesses Outperform Expectations
19 Sep
Although some economists are cautious about lingering effects of the recession on the U.S. economy, small businesses are doing well. They are increasing sales, hiring more employees, and taking on extra debt with the expectation of being able to pay it back.

The TD Bank Small Business Pulse Check, conducted in Florida, showed significant recovery for small business owners who were suffering from difficult economic realities over the past several years. “The major metro areas in Central and South Florida have made significant recoveries in the past few years,” said Ernie Diaz, regional president of TD Bank in Florida. "We are seeing more interest from small business owners to prime their companies for future expansion."

81% of small businesses will meet or exceed goals

Over 240 business owners in Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Polk, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties participated in the TD Bank survey. Respondents ran businesses with less than $5 million per year.

Eighty-one percent of them said they thought their business would either meet or exceed their revenue goals for 2014. However, more than half (55%) said they have been affected negatively by the national economy over the last year. Diaz said that even though survey respondents were optimistic on the whole, they are still operating with some caution.

Small businesses are very small in Florida

When talking about small businesses, often small means just one or two people. One-third of the small businesses polled by TD Bank had annual gross revenue of less than $50,000, and an average of fewer than 3 employees.

Looking toward the future of small business

Some of the factors small business owners are considering in the coming year include the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), getting enough credit to cover their expenses and expansion goals, hiring more employees, and meeting business benchmarks.

As for the ACA, only 9% of businesses in Central Florida and 25% in South Florida are obligated to offer health insurance to workers under the ACA. And many already provide medical benefits: 20% of small businesses in Central Florida and 37% in South Florida give their employees access to health care coverage.

Seventy percent of Central Florida and 65% of South Florida businesses predict that the ACA will not affect their businesses at all. However, although 53% of Florida small business said they’ll absorb or cover increased health care costs, 26% said they’ll cut staff, and 20% will offer fewer benefits or bonuses in order to compensate.

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