NFIB: Small-Business Conditions Report Shows Continued Improvement

For Immediate Release

Bill G. Smith (608) 255-6083
or Kevin Walter (614) 221-4107

Wisconsin Small-Business Owners Optimistic for Future

Madison, June 1, 2005 – Wisconsin’s overall small business climate showed continued improvement over the past three months according to the Wisconsin Small-Business ConditionsSM. The report’s data, which was released today by the National Federation of Independent Business /Wisconsin, provides an overview of small-business conditions within Wisconsin and compares them with neighboring states.

“Wisconsin’s small-business community is playing a major role in the state’s economic growth,” according to Bill G. Smith, NFIB/Wisconsin state director. A net 40 percent described current business conditions as “good,” while a net 19 percent said business conditions were “improving.”

“Small-business owners also are feeling positive about the future,” said Smith, noting a net 68 percent feeling optimistic about the next three months. “The positive attitude of Wisconsin small-business owners led the Midwest and was the sixth highest ranking among the 26 states surveyed when measured nationally.”

Small-business employment has been steady, according to the report, while over the same three-month period capital expenditures, spending on technology upgrades and the number of owners making expenditures for employee training all declined slightly.

Of those surveyed in Wisconsin, a net 23 percent indicated that profits were “good.” A net 43 percent of respondents characterized sales as “good,” second to Iowa (55 percent), but ahead of Illinois (34 percent), Michigan (24 percent) and Minnesota (39 percent). Overall, a net 54 percent of small employers reported that over the last three months their purchasing prices rose, while a net 20 percent reported they had increased selling prices.

When asked to rank their most important business problem, Wisconsin small-business owners ranked insurance as the most serious of all conditions, followed by taxes and competition from big business.

The Small-Business Conditions reports are developed from surveys of small-business owners in selected states. The surveys are designed to determine the condition of the small-business economy in each particular state. The surveys are conducted every three months and results are released on the first day of the month following completion. The text of the questions and the complete response set to the survey can be found at

The Poll
NFIB’s Wisconsin Small-Business ConditionsSM is a telephone survey of a random sample of Wisconsin small employers regarding business conditions within the state. “Small employer” is defined here as employing between one and 250 people (not including the owner(s)) in a for-profit business. Each edition of the survey has a minimum of 350 respondents. The sampling error is ± 5 percentage points. Data are collected quarterly in the months of February, May, August and November, beginning in February 2005. The MRCGroup of Las Vegas conducts the survey for the NFIB Research Foundation.

The text of the questions and the complete response set to the survey can be found at

The Sponsor
The NFIB Research Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides policy-makers, media, educators, small-business owners and other interested parties empirically based information on small business and small-business owners. The Foundation is affiliated with the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest small- and independent-business advocacy organization, and is located in Washington, D.C.