Micro-Businesses Upbeat

April 25, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The self-employed are confident that their businesses will do well as the economy rebounds, a new survey finds.

The survey, conducted by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), questioned self-employed workers and owners of micro-businesses – with between one and four employees, and found that:

  • 49% are optimistic or very optimistic about their business revenue in the current economy
  • a further 41% are cautiously upbeat
  • only 10% are not optimistic at all.


The “Micro-Business in America’ survey also found that:

  • 87% of the sample agrees that conditions for their business will improve in the next three to six months
  • 51% are confident that their businesses will be going strong in the next five years
  • 36% expect only slow-to-moderate growth.

According to NASE, there are approximately 16 million self-employed people in the US and micro-businesses represent nearly half of all employer firms in the nation.

Almost 40% of all new jobs in 1998 and 1999 were generated in this segment.

NASE also reported the following observations:

  • 65% of respondents believe small businesses are better able to compete against larger companies in a global marketplace than they were five years ago
  • 75% that the downturn corporate layoffs present opportunities for growth among micro-businesses
  • 69% say that micro- businesses are better able to weather a challenging economic environment than larger companies.

Going it Alone

When asked what aspects of business ownership are most important to them, respondents cited:

  • independence and flexibility
  • followed by stronger control over success and destiny
  • accountability to their own values.

Regarding federal legislation for small business, respondents ranked health insurance tax credits at the top of the list of issues with importance to their business, followed by broader tax equality for small businesses and Association Health Plans, according to NASE.

The “Micro-Business In America” online survey was conducted in March among 524 NASE members who are self-employed or own a small business.