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Pitney Bowes survey reveals resiliency of small businesses facing a tough economy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Stamford, Conn. – About half (52%) of small business owners would describe their business' economic situation as worse now compared to 12 months ago, according to a new survey released today by Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI). However, despite financial struggles, almost three quarters (73%) are optimistic about the future of their business. Such hopefulness will carry them through what some analysts are calling the "toughest economy in decades".

The survey, commissioned by Pitney Bowes, was conducted by International Communications Research, which polled 504 small businesses across the U.S. about the financial state of their business and outlook for 2010.

The survey revealed that some of the top financial stressors for small business owners in today's economy include: decreased sales (74%); health care costs (52%); late payments from customers (42%); and greater restrictions on financing (42%). About eight-in-ten small business owners say they are very worried about cash flow.

In spite of financial pressures, many small business owners still feel they have levers to pull before they would be forced to close. If their financial situation does not improve, 34% would resort to either layoffs or changing their mix of products or services, according to the survey. About a third would barter with customers, suppliers and employees to minimize the use of cash, while 31% would reduce operating hours. Twenty-nine percent would purchase a technology to increase the efficiency of their business.

As many American entrepreneurs attempt to overcome financial challenges in a tough economy, their resiliency is undeniable. Not surprisingly, if forced to close, the survey revealed that more than a quarter (28%) would start a new business. About a third would either start a new career (34%) or retire (32%).

"The Pitney Bowes survey revealed the agility of small businesses to adapt in today's economy to stay in business for the long haul," said Christine Martin, senior director, customer marketing & strategy, Pitney Bowes Inc. "Small businesses are a cornerstone of this nation's economy, which makes their success of the utmost importance for the economic recovery of America."




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