Small Business Owners in Oregon Mixed on State of Economy


U.S. Bank Small Business Survey comfirms businesses are optimistic but still reluctant to commit to additional hiring or capital expenditures according to Stacey Dodson of U.S. Bank in Central Oregon.

Oregon small business owners are divided about whether the national economy is in recession or recovery in 2013, according to results of the 2013 U.S. Bank Small Business Annual Survey.

The survey reveals trends in economic sentiment, business conditions, issues of greatest concern to small business owners and their plans for future hiring and capital expenditures.

Now in its fourth year, the survey polled 3,210 small businesses, including 200 in Oregon, with $10 million or less in annual revenue during the first quarter of 2013 across the 25 states where U.S. Bank provides small business banking services.

“Small business owners in Oregon – like their peers nationally – are concerned about issues such as taxes and unemployment,” said Stacey Dodson, region president of U.S. Bank in Central and Eastern Oregon. “While many feel their own business is healthy, they are somewhat reluctant to commit to additional hiring or capital expenditures, which leads us to believe they’re waiting for the economy to show more of a recovery before their confidence returns to pre-recession levels.”

When asked about the current state of the U.S. economy, small business owners in Oregon were evenly divided and consistent with their national counterparts with 45 percent believing we are in recovery and yet another 45 percent stating we’re still in a recession.

Compared to their peers, nationally, a higher number of Oregon small business owners said our state’s economy was worse than the rest of the country. These business owners say they feel this way because taxes are higher (33 percent), due to unemployment/low wages (18 percent) and their area was hard hit or there is lack of diverse or strong industry to protect the region (18 percent).

According to the survey, small business owners in Oregon and across the country are hesitant to make significant investments in their business althought 43 percent stated they expect higher revenue next year.

Issues of top concern to Oregon business owners were generally in line with the national opinion, citing federal budget deficit/debt, jobs/unemployment and the recession. Oregonians also agree that they expect the national healthcare reform law to have a negative effect in the long run.

Small business owners across the country are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. They are more likely than the general population to be innovators and early adopters of new technology. The majority of owners are currently using mobile technology for business purposes, whether it’s checking online banking statements, paying credit card bills, maintaining their calendar, social networking or sending and receiving email.

Oregon owners are more likely to use banking apps (55 percent) to manage their business than the national average (37 percent).

U.S. Bank ranks third in the nation in Small Business Administration (SBA) lending based on data for the first five months of the SBA’s 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Last year the company launched Connect, a website dedicated to small business owners that provides helpful tips and resources for starting, growing and managing a business. Survey results for Oregon, as well as graphical information highlighting differences in opinions based on age, gender, business size, location and ethnicity are available on Connect at


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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