Wednesday AM July 21st, 2010

Economic sentiment among small business owners remains relatively flat, in spite of the government's stimulus efforts. Gulf Coast states are more pessimistic than the national average. Ed Mayberry reports.
MerchantCircle LogoA decrease in credit availability over the previous quarter is blamed for some of the pessimism. But small business owners in Texas are more upbeat about the economic outlook, according to Darren Waddell with MerchantCircle, a social network for small business owners.

"Despite some of the efforts in Washington to aid small business owners, or at least some of the proposed legislation, merchants are generally not at all optimistic about the future of the economy. And this is sort of in general. We found that what was interesting in Texas was that merchants were much more likely to be spending more money on hiring, on increasing headcount, on increasing wages for their employees. So, a little bit of a bright spot when it comes to Texas small business owners."

Merchants in the Gulf states are generally more pessimistic, which Waddell attributes to the economic effects of the oil spill. Credit availability has affected small business plans to expand or increase compensation.

"Businesses are increasingly finding it difficult to get lines of credit for their business, increasingly using home equity loans of credit or personal credit cards or loans against retirement plans to fund their business. However, again, what we found is that businesses were less likely to be doing that. Nineteen percent of Texas businesses were expected to increase their headcount. Twelve percent were expected to increase compensation for their current employees. So both of the numbers represent about a ten to fifteen percent increase over the national average."

Small businesses are becoming more media savvy in their marketing. Social networking has eclipsed other marketing channels.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF News.
Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...