Capital One Financial Corp. : More Small Businesses Had Hiring Plans In 1Q - Capital One
05/24/2012| 08:55am US/Eastern
Many small businesses are reporting increased liquidity and say they plan to invest in growth, including hiring more people, according to a Capital One Small Business survey.
Small businesses are showing signs of recovery after a difficult 2011, according the bank's Small Business Barometer for the first quarter. Capital One's survey examines general economic indicators as well as small businesses' perceptions of the economic environment.
For the first time in three quarters, more small businesses report that their financial performance is better than the year-ago period than say it's the same. Four out of five businesses surveyed said their companies' financial performances met expectations for the quarter.
Roughly 15% of the small businesses across the country said they have job openings they are unable to fill. Companies in government, utilities and mining sectors are most likely to have job openings they can't fill.
More small businesses are making plans to hire new employees compared with last quarter. Roughly 34% of small businesses plan to hire more employees over the next six months, compared with 27% last quarter and 30% in the year-ago quarter.
"The latest survey results show some positive signs that more small businesses are beginning to focus on hiring, with the increase in the number of small businesses making plans to hire compared to the previous quarter at the highest level in over two years," said Jon Witter of Capital One.
At the same time, nearly 25% of small businesses said they had obtained financing in the last 12 months, up from 19% in the fourth quarter and 23% in the year-ago quarter.
The mostly positive outlook is tempered, however, by businesses' concerns about cash flow and the ability to acquire new customers, Capital One said.
-By Kristin Jones, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2208; email@example.com