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2013 Success Study

More Small Business Owners
Optimistic about the Economy

Remain Conservative about Risks in Business

The Hartford 2013 Small Business Success Study, which surveyed 2,000 small business owners and is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, reveals that small business owners may be taking a more conservative approach to running their businesses despite feeling optimistic the economy will strengthen this year.

Key points

  • Optimism increased: 48% were optimistic that the national economy would strengthen.
  • Major risks declined: They recorded an overall decline in the risks they consider major (slow economic growth, taxes, healthcare costs, and regulatory uncertainty).
  • Level of risk taking remained steady:  69% state their risk taking stayed the same in the 6 months prior to taking the survey.

The study also revealed:

  • In 2013 69% of these small business owners said they had not taken more risks in the past 6 months.
  • Factors that contribute to their business success are shifting and in 2013 include: improved demand (61%), fewer rules and regulations (32%), and a better pool of qualified talent (31%)
  • Most small business owners (69%) felt somewhat informed on Affordable Care Act, but split on its impact (41% said “negative impact”, 38% said “no impact”, and 18% said “positive impact”).

The factors that small business owners rate as major risks to their businesses because they could significantly impact their bottom line, have declined year over year:

  • Slow economic growth as a major risk factor was down to 59% in 2013 compared to 67% in 2012
  • Taxes as a major risk factor was down to 42% in 2013 from 59% in 2012
  • Health care costs as a major risk factor was down to 40% in 2013 from 53% in 2012
  • Federal regulations uncertainty as a major risk factor was down to 30% in 2013 from 56% in 2012

Additional Success Study information:

2012 Success Study

2011 Success Study

2012 Small Business Pulse

Hartford vs. the Nation

Fewer small business owners in Hartford, CT, are optimistic about
the local economy as compared to peers across the country.

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Liam McGee hosts a small business discussion in Hartford.

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