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CFO Jeff Atwater Releases Survey Showing Growth Outlook for Small Businesses is Bright


Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413- 2842
TALLAHASSEE- Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the Florida Department of Financial Services’ 2013 Small Business Survey, which reveals a positive outlook for Florida’s small businesses. The results revealed that 87 percent of the 1,093 small business employers surveyed plan to grow their business during the next 12 months. Among these owners planning to grow, 30 percent plan to hire new employees, 27 percent plan to make new expenditures and 19 percent plan to expand their product lines.
“Florida’s small businesses are the cornerstone of our growing economy, which is why it is so important that we work closely with their owners and continue taking steps to maintain our status as a very business friendly state,” said CFO Atwater. “I am encouraged to know small business owners are seeking to expand, because they are going to lead our state’s future growth and prosperity.”
The 2013 Small Business Survey found evidence of an economic recovery taking place in Florida because owners reported both an increase in sales and in their capital expenditures over the past 12 months – two leading indicators for scalable growth and future hiring. A lack of access to capital, however, remains a concern for small businesses.
Survey results showed that more small businesses appear to be interested in alternative financing as a means to fund their growth and expansion. Nineteen percent of respondents regularly use alternative forms of capital to finance their small business and 44 percent of respondents indicated they would like to use alternative sources of financing in the future.
“One of the clearest challenges small businesses face is the inability to access sufficient credit and capital to fund growth," said Michael Myhre, State Director for the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. "The findings of the report will help guide the development of practices and policies that support functional capital markets that support business and job growth without imposing undue restrictions on providers of debt and equity capital.”
Among the respondents who had no plans to expand their small business over the next year (13%), the most frequently cited reasons for not doing so were economic uncertainty, lack of sales, lack of available financing, requirements of the federal health care law (PPACA) and regulations at all levels of government.
“Securing Florida’s Future means creating the best possible environment for small businesses – they make up 75 percent of our state’s GDP and are the foundation for Florida’s success. We are encouraged by the strides that Florida’s economy is making under the leadership of Governor Scott and CFO Atwater,” said John Medina, Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council and President of Medina Consultants. “But there is still work to do. These results mean we must seek out opportunities to promote sound, business-led solutions to small business capital needs, whether they be financing, venture capital or other vehicles for helping businesses grow and expand. The struggles facing Florida’s small businesses in this arena are of tremendous importance to us at the Florida Chamber, because small business success means a secure future for Florida.”
A survey form was developed by the Florida Department of Financial Services for the 2013 Small Business Survey with the purpose of identifying economic trends and emerging issues affecting small businesses in Florida. The survey was sent electronically to a sample of small business owners in Florida between August 20, 2013, and September 6, 2013. Survey participants were limited to small business employers headquartered in Florida with less than 500 employees. The use of email solicitation was the primary method for acquiring responses, which were collected through a web-based survey platform. The survey was distributed in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and the Florida Chamber Foundation.
To read the complete 2013 Small Business Survey, click here.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.