Atlanta, Miami Entrepreneurs Optimistic—What About Others?

Mark Marich

Entrepreneurs in Atlanta and Miami are an optimistic bunch—even in the face of uncertain economic times. A new survey released today by Dell and Intel reveals a bright local outlook for startups and small businesses in the two southern cities—showing a favorable view of the local economy and local organizations supporting businesses as well as healthy expectations for growth.

The release of the survey findings kicks off a nine-city Small Business Think Tank tour aimed at understanding the state of small business at the local level. In addition to Atlanta and Miami, tour stops are scheduled for: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin.

The events are hosted in collaboration with local chambers of commerce and national partners including Global Entrepreneurship Week and Startup America Partnership. At the conclusion of the tour, Dell and Intel will publish a comprehensive report on the state of U.S. small business based on the quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the nine cities.

Highlights from the Atlanta-Miami survey include:

  • Growth remains the focus in the face of the tough economy. Nearly all startups and small businesses plan to grow (97 percent, Miami; 91 percent, Atlanta) and say growth is important (96 percent, Miami; 91 percent, Atlanta). Despite reporting challenges of growing a small business in today's economic environment and worries about sustaining the success of their businesses, more than half plan to grow in the near-term (53 percent, Miami; 52 percent, Atlanta).
  • Views of the outlook and support for small business generate greater optimism in the local economy. Most respondents are optimistic about their companies' financial situations; they expect a better year (63 percent, Miami; 60 percent, Atlanta), sales outlook (74 percent, Miami; 84 percent, Atlanta) and growth opportunities (66 percent, Miami; 67 percent, Atlanta) next year. Compared with a 14.6 percent aggregate national approval rating for Congressional job performance reported by RealClearPolitics, they rate local elected officials much higher (49 percent, Miami, 64 percent, Atlanta).
  • Limited hiring shifts the focus to technology as a growth driver, but the priority placed on talent suggests hiring on the horizon. Nearly half of small businesses stayed the same size over the past three years (44 percent, Miami; 45 percent, Atlanta), most are neither hiring nor firing (73 percent, Miami; 71 percent, Atlanta), and in the face of limited hiring, more than half expect growth will come by investing in technology (50 percent, Miami; 57 percent, Atlanta).

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