Survey: SMBs See Recovery Ahead, Plan to Hire

Paul Lilly

At nearly 10 percent, the unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 26 years, or a little over a quarter of a century. Nevertheless, SMBs are looking to the coming year with optimism and planning to hire rather than lay off more workers, suggests a new study .

Intuit Payroll pinged over 1,000 SMB owners and found that 44 percent have plans to hire in the next year, and 60 percent are expecting their businesses to grow. But there's also a bit of a quandary SMBs find themselves in.

Nearly 90 percent of the survey participants indicated health insurance benefits as key to attracting and retaining good employees, but 58 percent don't offer healthcare benefits, with nearly half saying they simply can't afford it.

"There's a wideing gap of expectations," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president of Intuit's Employee Management Solutions Division. "On one hand, we as a society assume that health and retirement benefits are part of every employee's compensation package. And yet even as these small businesses gear up to hire, according to our results, small businesses are leery about what those benefits will cost."

Intuit also found that only 1 percent of respondents reported receiving federal stimulus money, even though 74 percent admit that they are probably not taking advantage of all the benefits made available to them under the federal economic stimulus plan.

Image Credit: Flickr kellyology

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