Feature Stories - 2013

Citibank/Abt SRBI Surveys: Restarting the Small Business Job Engine

    Release Date: 4/29/2013

    Small businesses account for almost two-thirds of net new job creation. With economic recovery underway, there’s a revived focus on invigorating the small business job engine. Over the past five years, Abt SRBI has partnered with Citibank each quarter to take the pulse of small business with surveys that receive extensive media attention.
    Abt SRBI interviews a national sample of 1,150 small businesses each quarter, focusing on employment trends, sales forecasts, impact on communities, business challenges, and owners’ personal sacrifices. Through a deeper understanding of small business needs and interests, Citi has developed new products and services designed to leverage technologies and provide ways of doing business to lower costs, increase market share, and gain productivity.

    The surveys find that optimism among small business owners has been growing in recent months. However, many owners have been making notable sacrifices and changes to stay afloat. More than half of the surveyed owners have gone without paychecks -- a quarter of them for more than a year. Apart from less pay, 70% of the owners surveyed said that they had given up family or vacation time to work more hours, and nearly two-thirds said they were suffering from personal stress.
    Catherine VonFange, Senior Vice President and head of Abt SRBI’s Financial Service and Insurance Practice, directs this survey series.