Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

March 2, 2010

Small Businesses Slightly More Optimistic

By Joseph Eneldas


Small businesses grew slightly more optimistic last month, though they are still climbing out of a funk brought on by a credit crunch and a severe recession.

Index Inches Up

The Index of Small Business Optimism, released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business, rose 1.3 points to 89.3 in January. It is up 8.3 points from March, the index’s low since the recession began and its second-lowest reading in history.

Separately, a new report showed businesses cut wholesale inventories in December.

Small Businesses Create Jobs Quickly…

Economists are keeping a close watch on the mood of small businesses, which typically create jobs rapidly during economic expansions.

“Despite the marginal increase in January, small businesses continue to lag the overall economic recovery,” RDQ Economics analysts wrote in a note to clients. “Historically, small businesses have created much of the hiring in an economic expansion and the weak state of small business confidence remains a roadblock to faster recovery.”

The report found small-business capital spending rose from the prior month but remained weak. Regular borrowers said credit was still difficult to access. The businesses surveyed said lackluster sales was their top problem and this meant they didn’t need to hire. Just 9% of owners added employees; 19% cut jobs.

But Few See Need to Hire

A larger employment survey confirmed that employers didn’t feel any urgency to add workers. The number of job openings in the U.S. rose 2.6 to a seasonally adjusted 2.5 million in December, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey showed Tuesday. The number of hires fell 1.3% to 4.1 million, and layoffs and firings rose 3.4% to 2.1 million in December.

There were 6.1 job seekers per open job in December, down a bit from 6.3 job seekers chasing each job in November, the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute noted.

“To absorb the over 15 million officially unemployed workers in this country, plus the nearly 2.5 million ‘marginally attached’ workers…job openings and hiring must rebound dramatically,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the institute. “This report offers no indication that that is happening.”

Meanwhile, wholesale inventories decreased 0.8% to $383.57 billion in December, compared to a 1.6% increase in November, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Stockpiles for both durable goods, meant to last three years or more, and nondurables declined.

Companies slashed inventories deeply in the first nine months of 2009 to rid excess supply accumulated during the recession. The inventory drawdown forced businesses to increase production to replenish inventories and helped drive gross domestic product growth at a 5.7% annualized rate in the fourth quarter.

One bright spot

While inventories fell, wholesalers said their sales actually increased to $341.16 billion in December. That could indicate that inventories are nearing a low point and poised for a stronger bounce in the months ahead. Durable-goods sales rose, but nondurable-goods sales fell.

At the current sales pace, it would take 1.12 months for wholesalers to deplete the amount of goods on hand. The inventory-to-sales ratio was 1.14 in November 2009. Wholesalers make up about 30% of all business stockpiles.

Courtesy of Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bater

About A Neumann & Associates, LLC

A Neumann & Associates, LLC is a professional mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm having assisted business owners and buyers in the business valuation and business transfer process through its affiliations for the past 30 years. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, the company has senior trusted professionals with a deep knowledge based in multiple field offices along the East Coast and has performed hundreds of business valuations in its history. The firm’s competitive transaction fees are based on successfully completing transactions. For more information, please contact A Neumann & Associates at 732-872-6777 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Any questions? Please contact us at 732-872-6777
Call Now

Client Testimonials

“I had been in touch with Karin and Gary from A Neumann & Associates regarding some opportunities and was looking forward to meeting with them. Hence, when they organized a seminar in Princeton, NJ, I was quick to sign up. The seminar was very informative as the team walked the attendees through various scenarios and referenced real life buying/selling situations they had been through. The sessions by Gary, Karin and Achim were crisp and focused and brought clarity to potential seller and buyers. I strongly recommend the team and look forward to continue working with them.”

Gaurav Tyagi

“Thank you for your Event on "How to value, Sell, and Buy A Business for Maximum Profit" and the insight into ANA’s approach on what is involved in the Business Exit for sellers. Garys Hervieiou's "Business Valuation", Achim's "Deal structure" presentation and Karin’s "Preparing the Package" are real street knowledge shared. They answered attendees questions which makes it more interesting for learning from others. Great for small businesses like us. The presentations were totally worth our time and travel for the event to Princeton, NJ from Rockville MD. Ravi Bhutani, President, CIPS”

Ravi Bhutani

“Gary, this is to thank you for an excellent job done in selling our business. We could never have done it without your professional expertise, dedication and time put in without reservation to make it happen. We will gladly and highly recommend you to anybody in our position.  It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Pat Iammatteo, Owner

“Your vetting is simply outstanding, among the best I've seen from a broker.”

Eric H., Investor

“I recently contacted A. Neumann and Associates about getting a valuation of my business done. I spoke with Marc, who explained the process in detail. After meeting with Marc in order to get a clear understanding of my business, and what I was hoping to accomplish. His patience in answering all my questions and his knowledge of the proper way to market my business gave me great confidence that this is the firm I will be using to sell my business for max value. Working with Marc at A Neumann & Associates was very easy and professional. I did not know all that was going to be involved in selling my business but they helped me through the process. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. I highly recommend this firm to anybody who wants to sell now or down the road. Marc not only knows his stuff, but actually is a real nice guy.”

Double Diamond

“Used A Neumann & Associates to sale my business. could not imagine having done it with out the patience and experience Gary provided. Thanks Gary,”

Dennis Frazier

“Working with Marc and his company was a pleasure. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. Marc handled most of the interaction and he has one of the greatest demeanors. Again, it was a pleasure working with him and his firm.”

Douglas DiCeglio

“I recently completed an acquisition using A Neumann & Associates. Tony Valentino was very helpful and accessible during the entire process. They do a thorough job vetting both parties and got us to the finish line.”

Srini Mudambi

“Claus out of Florida helped us with the sale of our business. We had never done anything like this and him and his team walked us through the process from start to finish. We had some challenges through the process and Claus continued to show up even in the difficult conversations.”

Colby Harris, Co-Owner, Del Mar Designs

“Claus Madsen thoroughly helped us with selling our company. From the 1st introductory meeting explaining to us what was possible, to providing us with resources to assist with the sale. Claus was invaluable throughout the whole sales process. Claus was with us every step of the journey and always made himself available for any questions or issues that came up along the way. If you are interested in selling your business, I encourage you to reach out to Claus and the ANA team so that they can let you know what’s achievable. These guys will make it happen!”

Ron Harris, Co-Owner and Vice President, Del Mar Designs
view all testimonials

Contact A Neumann & Associates, LLC

If you are considering selling your business, please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive service spectrum. Our experienced professionals will answer all your questions about selling a privately held business in complete confidentiality. Please fill out our contact form, or call us at 732-872-6777. We will contact you directly and will never identify ourselves to your employees.

call us now
Contact Us for a Free, Confidential Consultation

Experienced M&A Advisors available

Full Name
Email Address
Phone Number