For once I'm here with good news. About bankruptcy. And the economy. Yes, seriously.
A pair of recently released studies indicate that small business bankruptcies are declining nationwide. According to Equifax Commercial Information Solutions, bankruptcies declined 11 percent in the third quarter of 2010 alone. That also marked the fifth consecutive quarter that bankruptcies have dropped for small businesses. This signals a remarkable shift from only 18 months ago. For the purposes of the study, small businesses are classified as those with 100 or fewer employees.
"Small businesses are having a tough time. But the numbers are beginning to indicate that some of the stresses may be abating," said Reza Barazesh, senior vice president of Equifax. According to the study, small business bankruptcy filings reached their peak at 37,299 during the second quarter of 2009. They stood at 30,392 during the third quarter of 2010. Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy filings in addition to business data on 24 million U.S. small businesses.
Small business also said that while still cautious, they are increasingly optimistic about the future. Discover Financial Services posted the results of a survey that also have positive results regarding the economy. The survey polled 750 owners of businesses with less than five people. According to the Discover survey:
- 28% of small-business owners surveyed said they expect economic conditions for their businesses to improve in the next six months
- 31% of respondents say the economy is getting better
- 9% said their business is hiring
- 22% of businesses plan to increase spending
It certainly doesn't mean that we're out of the water yet, but at this point, I don't think I'll cause any controversy in saying that we'll take all of the good news that we can get.Related Resources:
- Confidence Slightly Up for Small-Business Owners (Wall Street Journal)
- Survey: Most Won't Buy House Due to Economy (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- 3 Times You Can Fire An Employee For Off Duty Conduct (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)