Visa Small Business Spend Insights Q4 - 2012

Visa® Small Business Spend Insights monitors the economic confidence of U.S. small business owners by analyzing Visa Business card spend data and responses to a quarterly survey. Small businesses and those serving them can benefit from the trends and insights obtained from Visa’s proprietary research.

Outlook has improved despite lingering economic uncertainty

Small business owners reported record-high confidence and decreasing concern in key areas of the economy — even as buzz surrounding the “fiscal cliff” dominated the media during the time of the survey.

Views about the future are cautiously optimisticImage of Man Running Business

As outlooks on revenue and profit increases hold steady, and confidence in stronger local economies grows, small business owners appear optimistic about the direction the economy is taking. However, recovery from recession is still their primary source of anxiety.

Business owners feel better about the strength of their businesses

Growing confidence regarding essential business functions — such as inventory, cash flow and revenue — appear to indicate greater optimism about the state of their businesses than in recent quarters. Even so, many business owners continue to report fears about their ability to stay in business.

Concerns about cash flow have dropped to an all-time low

For the first time since this survey began, managing cash flow is no longer a top 5 concern. As small businesses turn their attention to other issues, financial institutions may find new opportunities to serve them.