Survey: 89 percent of state's small- and mid-size businesses 'growing' or 'stable'

Posted on March 7, 2013

Michigan’s small and mid-size businesses saw growth and stability in 2012, according to a recent member report by the Michigan Business & Professional Association.

The survey, conducted in cooperation with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center at Grand Valley State University, asked members, “How would you describe the financial state of your business over the past year?” The member companies responded that 42 percent were growing, 47 percent were stable and 11 percent were shrinking.

The survey also asked, “Have you made any dramatic changes in the past year to any of the following areas of your business?” The member companies responded that 19 percent said change had been made in marketing, 18 percent said change had been made in staff, 17 percent said no dramatic changes had been made and 16 percent said changes had been made in sales. Other changes included product/service design, management responsibilities, outsourcing and technology. A total of 83 percent made changes over the past year.

Business owners attributed growth to factors such as working longer hours, networking relationships and enhanced community service.

“Uncertain economic climate,” was identified as the most significant factor interfering with business growth. Medical insurance costs and health care reform also were noted as problematic.

“The results clearly indicate to us that the outlook for Michigan business continues to look brighter,” said MBPA President and CEO Jennifer Kluge. “The slowly recovering economy appears to be the only thing standing in the way of full-scale growth for our member companies.”

Mike Nichols, Grand Rapids Business Journal.