The research program is comprised of a semi-annual nationwide survey of small businesses. Among the findings from RFGâs latest survey, fielded in March of 2009, include actions small businesses are taking to cope with the current economic environment. In 2009, 30 percent of small businesses with annual sales of $500 thousand to $10 million plan to lay-off employees. Fifty-two percent will freeze pay and 41 percent plan to eliminate bonuses in 2009. Small business cost-cutting measures extend to health insurance benefits and 401(k) matches as well. Additionally, nine percent of small businesses expect to reduce operating expenses by closing or consolidating facilities.
Although many small businesses are cutting costs to cope with the current economic environment, 18 percent feel that their annual sales will increase in 2009, while 37 percent expect flat sales comparing 2008 to 2009. However, close to half (45 percent) expect a decrease in sales in 2009.
Financial institutions have a consistent need for reliable and timely small business market intelligence. RFG developed this new research to fill this need and help participating institutions increase their small business relationships, evaluate competitive strategies, identify new product ideas and develop a segmentation approach to acquire and retain customers.