Small Business Owners Hit Hard by the Economic Slowdown

Found some interesting SME data in (of all places!) an article about sandwich board signs in today’s USA Today.

Small business owners have been hit hard by the economic slowdown. More than 30% of businesses with 500 or fewer employees have seen a decrease in gross sales and nearly 40% have seen a decrease in net profits in the past 12 months, according to a National Small Business Association. As a result, the NSBA says 54% of merchants will turn to new marketing strategies. Sandwich boards are among those techniques, Molly Brogan, NSBA vice president of public affairs, said.

What it means: directory publishing has traditionally been more immune to slowdowns and recessions than other media. It’s going to be interesting to hear experts at the Kelsey conference talk about this topic (I hope it comes up!). Some experts are predicting that this slowdown in the US might the first one where print publishing is really hit hard. I’m not sure it will be the case. Print is very resilient and is a core element of small business owners’ marketing strategy. I think every directional media (whether print or online) will fare better than other media in this difficult economic situation in the US (and that includes search engine marketing).

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