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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 8 years ago

Mostly sunny surveys return

The good news business forecast surveys are back.

The good news business forecast surveys are back.

The latest example comes from BMO Harris Bank, where big Florida findings include: More than seven out of 10, 72%, of statewide business owners and executives intend to invest in their business in 2014; nearly half say they will upgrade or purchase new equipment; and 25% plan to hire more employees.

“Our clients are telling us they are optimistic about their business prospects for this year.” BMO Harris Bank Managing Director, Commercial Banking, Florida, Andrew Cardimen says in a release. “They are validating this confidence through their decisions to invest in their business this year, which is a good thing for the Florida economy.”

A large majority, 82%, of respondents say they will make the investments in their business with cash reserves, the survey shows. Only 11% plan to fund the investment solely through borrowing, while 7%, says the survey, will use a combination of both financing and cash reserves. “These findings demonstrate that the business community continues to be conservative when it comes to the use of debt for funding growth, stemming from what they learned during the recent recession,” BMO Harris Equipment Finance Co. Managing Director Jud Snyder says in the release.

Of course, not everything is sunny. More than one-fourth of the Florida business owners in the survey, 28%, say they won't invest in or expand their business this year. The most popular reason cited there, 57% of respondents, is lack of capital. Other reasons included the current economic climate and the business not performing well enough.

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