Economic Forecast by Pepperdine University Shows 45% of Private Businesses Oppose U.S. Government Increasing Debt Ceiling

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LOS ANGELES (Press Release – January 18, 2012) – Only 33% of privately-held businesses owners support raising the debt ceiling this year, while 45% say the government should never raise the limit, according to survey results released in the 2012 Economic Forecast conducted by Pepperdine University’s Private Capital Markets Project and Graziadio School of Business and Management in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. The report comes as the nation’s legislators grapple with the President’s request to increase the debt ceiling by an additional $1.2 trillion and today’s vote in the House. Download forecast:

In the survey conducted over the first two weeks of the New Year, 23% of the 3,118 small and medium privately-held businesses that responded support a debt limit increase in the first half of 2012 and 10% support an increase in the second half of 2012. Looking further in the future, 9% of respondents favored 2013, 4% indicated 2014, only 2% 2015 and 7% favored 2016 as the earliest they could support an increase to the debt ceiling.

When asked how the government should balance the budget, an overwhelming 96% of respondents agreed that legislators must decrease federal expenditures. Only 23% of respondents agreed that increasing revenues from personal income taxation was the way to achieve a balanced budget.

“Only one-third of the small and medium sized privately-held businesses feel that we should continue to push the country further into debt, with the remainder calling for reductions in government spending,” said Dr. John Paglia, lead researcher for the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project and associate professor of finance at the Graziadio School of Business and Management. “Small businesses have endured the difficulties of the recession and understand how to work within the bounds of a budget. The results clearly show that small businesses think it is time to stop taking on more debt and start cutting expenses.”

An additional finding of the research is that 30% of businesses cited increased access to capital as the most important step needed to spur job creation.

“The data show that small businesses are poised for growth and ready to spend,” said Jeffrey Stibel, Chairman & CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., “but small businesses continue to be choked by corporate and policy environments that restrict their access to capital. Until these businesses have the funds to grow, it will be almost impossible to revive the American economy.”

Other findings from the forecast include:

· When asked which policies will help spur U.S. job creation respondents agree that access to capital (30%), regulatory reform (28%) and tax incentives (21%) were to the top catalysts. Respondents also pointed to increased competitiveness with foreign trade partners (15%) and education reform (5%) as other policies that may jump start hiring.

· When comparing the data released in today’s forecast to 2011’s forecast there were significant changes in response to policies to help spur job creation. Respondents’ pointing to increased access to capital to spur job creation was down 14% from 44% in 2011 to 30% in 2012. Also, we saw an 11% increase in support for regulatory reform from 17% in 2011 to 28% in 2012.

· When asked which major policies businesses supported to bolster the economy, 78% of businesses agreed that a balanced U.S. government budget and 63% agreed further extensions of reduced payroll tax periods would help get the U.S. economy going. Other businesses agreed with policies to lower interest rates (39%), support increase of the debt limit (28%), support US government policies to financially support struggling European economies (18%) and policies to weaken the US dollar (9%) as the right policies to bolster the economy.

Download forecast:

About Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project

The Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project at the Graziadio School of Business and Management is the first simultaneous, comprehensive, and on-going investigation of the major private capital market segments. The research seeks to understand the true cost of private capital across market types and the investment expectations of privately-held business owners; providing lenders, investors and the businesses that depend on them with critical data to make optimal investment and financing decisions, and better determine where the opportunities to create lasting economic value may be realized. Download reports and find more information at

About Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management

Founded on the core values of integrity, stewardship, courage, and compassion, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio (GRAT-ZEE-ah-DEE-oh) School of Business and Management has been developing values-centered leaders and advancing responsible business practice since 1969. Student-focused, experience-driven, and globally-oriented, the Graziadio School offers fully accredited top-ranked MBA, Masters of Science, and bachelor’s completion business programs. More information found at

About Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. is the leading provider of business credit building and credibility solutions for businesses. The company helps businesses establish their credit with a D&B D-U-N-S® Number and provides the only business credit solution available to companies looking to build, monitor, and impact their business credit and credibility. The company’s headquarters are in Los Angeles, CA with offices throughout the United States. For more information on the company, please visit Twitter: @DandB

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