National Association of Professional Women Announces Business Outlook Survey Results

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Garden City, New York (PRESS RELEASE – February 15, 2010) — According to the just-released “2010 Business Outlook Survey” from the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), women who play an important role in business nationwide, today express pockets of optimism and see potential signs that the economy and their business may be gaining some strength.

A large majority expresses confidence about the direction of the economy this year, and one-half say their business revenues will be up “sharply or moderately” in 2010 compared to 2009, without the help of federal tax credits. A strong minority of survey respondents also say that both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and their investments will end 2010 above where they are now.

“This survey reveals, perhaps unexpectedly, that in persistently difficult economic conditions, professional women do see a number of signs that the economy is stabilizing and they even display some optimism about their own businesses,” notes Nicole Johnson, NAPW’s Managing Director of Communications and Member Services.

Other key specific findings from what is believed to be one of the most thorough snapshots of the economic views of professional women include the following:

  • Confidence: Regarding overall business confidence, the 1277 survey respondents communicated the overall “2010 NAPW Business Confidence Outlook:” 65.9% say they are “very or somewhat confident about the economy’s direction,” approximately twice those saying (32.2%) “Not too confident or not confident at all.”
  • Investment Performance in 2010: 42.5 % expect their own investment portfolio to be “up sharply or moderately” this year. Overall, 85% of the NAPW respondents say their own investments will be, at year’s end, either “about where they are now or up,” and 78.6% say that the Dow Jones will be “where it is now or up.”
  • Overall 2010 Performance of Their Business: Overall, NAPW members express a positive attitude when they are asked to choose just one word to describe their anticipated business performance in 2010. 34.6% think their business will “expand”, 39.9% project their business will “stay the same” and only 3.8% believe their business will “contract” in 2010.
  • Adding Jobs: 25% of professional women respondents expect to add full time, permanent jobs, while 30.6% say “it’s too early to tell.” 33.5% say they “won’t add to payroll.”
  • Amount of Increase: Of those saying they plan to add to payroll, 46.6% say the increase will be between 1%-51% — with an overwhelming number of these (85%) saying the increase will be between 1%-20%.
  • Timing of Job Additions: Of those saying they are adding jobs, 70% plan to add them around mid-year in fiscal 2010 quarters two and three. Only 9.3% of those planning to add say they will do so in the first quarter and only 3.6% plan to do so in the last quarter.
  • Part-Time/Temporary Jobs: 27% of respondents say that if they add to payroll, the jobs will be part-time, and 18.4% say the jobs will be temporary.
  • Effect of Proposed Federal Tax Credit: It is noteworthy that the NAPW members saying they expect to add jobs do not reference the federal $5000 tax credit for each net new hire, as proposed by President Obama. While nearly 70% say they favor this idea, a significant plurality (42.9%) say this “will NOT cause them to hire more staff/workers.” That is more than twice the number of respondents saying they will hire because of it. It also is noteworthy that by a margin of more than 2.5-to-1, NAPW members favor (71.4%) the federal government’s use of the left over TARP dollars to encourage more small business lending by the nation’s banks.
  • Plans To Cut Payroll: A large majority of respondents, 61.3%, say they “do not expect to cut payroll in 2010.” 14.3% say they expect to cut payroll in 2010, with 71% of those saying the cut will be between 1%-10%.
  • Business Spending Plans: 15.5% say they plan to spend more in 2010 than in 2009 on equipment, software/hardware and business services, and 49.9% plan to spend “about the same.” 25% of NAPW members say they plan to spend less in 2010 than 2009 on equipment, software/hardware and business services.
  • Bank Lending: 47% say they expect that the bank lending environment for business in 2010 “will stay the same,” 38.2% say they expect it to “tighten,” while only 13.1% say it “will ease and become more favorable.”
  • Recession Impact: Over 81% of survey respondents say the “Great Recession of 2009” had a negative effect — 43.9% say their business shrank, 27.5% laid off staff, 8.5% say they were laid off or had their hours reduced, and 1.3% went out of business.

Full results of the “2010 NAPW Business Outlook Survey” are available at

About NAPW

NAPW members are affluent professionals representing the spectrum of American business — with 80% from smaller businesses with 1-499 employees and 20% from mid-market and large companies with 500-5000 employees. 86% have positions of responsibility in U.S. business — 55% are owners, partners or top management, 9.3% are corporate officers and 22% are middle management.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is the fastest growing and most recognized professional women’s association in the nation. NAPW assists its accomplished members, from businesses large and small, to achieve powerful business growth and professional career development through interactive online networking forums, local face-to-face chapter meetings, access to local and regional seminars, webinars, podcasts, keynote speakers, and many educational tools. NAPW provides an advanced forum for like-minded professional women to gain exposure and to create innovative social and business relationships, boost their careers and become more productive and successful.

For more information about NAPW, visit or follow the organization on Twitter: @napwic.

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