Florida small businesses are reporting higher company sales and have an improved economic outlook in the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey released Wednesday at the 2015 Annual Florida SBDC Network Conference in Miami.
“Small businesses create two out of three new jobs in Florida and play a leading role in our state’s economy ... and I’m pleased to report that the health of Florida’s mall businesses is growing stronger,” Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said at the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) conference.
The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Florida SBDC Network in May, shows 55 percent of small businesses reporting higher company sales compared to last quarter, 62 percent reported higher company sales compared to the same time period last year, with only 14 percent of businesses reporting lower sales.
Top issues facing small businesses included economic uncertainty (24 percent), workforce quality (15 percent), government regulations (12 percent), access to capital (10 percent) and growth management processes (10 percent). Notably, access to capital has dropped from tying as the single biggest issue from more than a year ago, to the fourth overall issue during the latest survey.
Looking ahead, 78 percent of respondents expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, with 18 percent expecting the economy to “improve significantly,” more than double the amount from the Florida Chamber Q2 2014 survey. In the poll, 57 percent responded that their business is better off than six months ago.
On the hiring front, 45 percent of respondents indicated that they plan to hire personnel over the next six months. Also, 39 percent plan to increase investment in plants and equipment.