Getty ImagesNEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: An unemployed man looks over job listings on a board at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office March 3, 2011 in Brooklyn Borough of New York City. The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to a level not seen since May 2008. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)Getty Images
There is an abundance of conflicting news about small business, but here’s another bright spot in the horizon: in a sign that small businesses are emerging from the recession, a majority of Chicago small business owners say they are taking concrete action to expand their business in 2011, according to the latest Citibank small business survey.
When asked what steps they will take to attract more business in 2011, 66 % say they will increase marketing and 61 percent say they will offer new products and services. Surprisingly, though, only 33% of Chicago small business owners say they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to market their business, but that is in line with the rest of the U.S.
Though a majority (69 %) continues to rate current business conditions as fair or poor, Citibank’s survey shows that Chicago small business owners believe the worst is over, with 51 % describing 2011 conditions as “steady as a rock.”
•81% say they would start their business again, even with current economic conditions
•68% of respondents are likely or very likely to use a website to expand their business in 2011;
•60% say they will work longer hours themselves to grow their business;
•60% say the biggest benefit of owning a business is being your own boss.
It’s not all good news: 90% of those surveyed say they are concerned about another economic downturn, and gas and energy costs remain a concern.