Although US small businesses continuously improved their sales for the last 9 months, they have become less optimistic for the future, proving the recession is still very much alive and affecting their sight of the future.
The Fall And The (Somewhat) Comeback
At the end of 2009, small businesses had a 37.2% of the eCommerce market share compared to 62.8% of the top 25 retailers. But the recession hurt small businesses tremendously and their market share drop to 30.1% in the middle of 2010. However, since then small businesses have showed an impressive improvement for 3 consecutive quarters growing to 33.6%, on the expense of the top 25 retailers.
According to these stats, small businesses suppose to be more optimistic, don’t they? Well, the situation is a little more complicated than that…
Declining Optimism For Five Straight Months
Apparently, the situation of the economy and mostly the high unemployment rate are more influential than the steady growth of small business sales and also we have to remember that small businesses are still far from the 2009 sales data.
In the graph below you can see that after the big fall in 2007-2008 optimism index, in 2009 and 2010 there was some optimism recovery, but the economy state and the worries about a long recession are influencing back again in 2011, making a five straight months of declining optimism.
Small businesses are affected much more from the economy general condition than the major businesses. The increase in small business sales for the last 3 quarters reflects the whole economy recovery, but the concerns for the economy’s future especially after the US rating has been downgraded are for the moment, stronger.