Majority of US-based Business Owners Optimistic About Business in 2012

NEW YORK – 03 January 2012 –
Newtek Business Services (NASDAQ: NEWT) The Small Business Authority , with a portfolio of over 100,000 business accounts, announced today the findings of its SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly window into the concerns of independent business owners. Based on a poll of over 1,000 respondents, one of the key findings from the December survey is 55 percent of business owners are optimistic about the future. In addition, 64 percent are optimistic about their 2011-year end results.

A majority of these business owners believe that, going forward, it will be easier to grow their sales rather than to reduce their expenses.

Survey, December 2011:

Poll Question…Poll Answer…Percentage

Looking into 2012, how do you feel about the future?
Optimistic, 55%;
Pessimistic, 20%;
Neutral, 25%.

Regarding your own business results, are you:
Optimistic, 64%;
Pessimistic, 20%;
Neutral, 16%;

Do you find it easier to:
Grow your sales, 68%;
Reduce your costs, 32%.

Barry Sloane, Chairman, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority commented, “To be frank, we are pleasantly surprised at the optimism that is being generated by over 1,000 of our small business clients. Optimism about their business and the economy and their ability to grow sales has not been apparent in recent months or years. We attribute this optimism to the recent headline drop in the unemployment rate, the growth in consumer spending and small gains in hiring in the fourth quarter. Whether this optimism will continue in the first quarter of 2012 is anyone’s guess, given that consumer spending growth has not been accompanied by personal income growth.”

“Putting that aside, the positive sentiment is clearly a positive sign for the market. If independent business owners become positive about the economy and their own businesses they will hire, spend and make capital investments. It is potentially very good news for business going into 2012,” Sloane added.