Presidential Election Holds Scant Impact on Private Business Views of 2013

The Cincinnati Enquirer recently published the results of the Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 Top Privately Held Businesses Survey.

Many positive elements were identified in the survey. Most importantly, sales and employment levels both hit records in 2011, signaling a recovery from the Great Recession.

Private business owners reveal rising optimism for 2013:

  • Nearly 80% expect gross sales/revenues to increase.
  • Nearly 70% expect pre-tax profit to increase.
  • Over 65% expect their number of employees to increase and less than 10% forecast a decrease in the number of employees.

The November election was the focus of specific questions in the survey. The responses show that the election is clearly not a dominant factor in the business outlook.

Owners of the Top 100 businesses were asked to answer "agree," "disagree" or "neither" to the following questions:

  • "In terms of demand for our products, the outcome of the election will have little or no effect." Nearly 60% answered "agreed" or "neither."
  • "Regardless of the winner, the U.S. economy will probably improve after the uncertainty surrounding the election ends." Nearly 70% answered "agreed" or "neither."
  • "Clarity and certainty are more important than which party captures the White House." Nearly 70% answered "agreed" or "neither."
  • "We are putting off significant business decisions until after the election." Only 25% agreed.

This optimism is important because, even though private businesses are not included in public stock market valuations, they are major drivers of employment and economic activity.

The next time you think there isn't any good news in the economy, stop and think again!

About Bruce J. Berno, CFP®
Bruce J. Berno, CFP® is the founder of Berno Financial Management, Inc. a fee-only comprehensive personal financial planning and investment advisory firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1993, Berno Financial Management has been helping individuals and families achieve financial peace of mind. For more information about Berno Financial Management, visit