Small and midsize businesses in Michigan have been increasing the money they put into their operations and are showing some signs of optimism, according to a semiannual survey.
The June survey of 600 business owners and managers, conducted by Marketing Resource Group Inc. forAccident Fund Insurance Company of America, found 20 percent of respondents saying major investments in facilities and equipment had increased in the past six months, compared with 12 percent in October who said they had boosted investments. Accident Fund is a Lansing-based workers’ compensation insurer.
Also up was the number of businesses giving wage increases, with 14 percent reporting they had raised employee pay. In the October survey, 10 percent said they had given raises.
Hiring remained fairly flat. Twelve percent of respondents said they increased the number of employees, up slightly from 10 percent in October.
Forty-three percent of businesses said they expect sales to increase over the next six months, up from 32 percent who held that view in October. And 38 percent said they expect profits to increase, compared with 32 percent in the last survey.
More than a quarter of respondents said finding new customers was the greatest challenge to their business over the past year, followed by cash flow and financing problems and the poor economy. The price of gasoline also posed a challenge, businesses said.
By Amy Lane, Crain’s Detroit