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American Small Business Owners Continue to Hire and Plan Strategic Growth in the U.S. Market, Ink from Chase Survey Reveals


Survey Shows Continued Optimism Toward Hiring, Despite Economy

WILMINGTON, Del. - -Three-fourths (75 percent) of small businesses say they are adding positions despite the economy, up slightly from last year (72 percent), according to the Ink from Chase survey of CEOs of fastest growing U.S. small businesses. Demonstrating continued optimism toward reviving the U.S. economy, 67 percent of small businesses plan to expand into new U.S. markets as a key growth strategy. The data was released by Ink from Chase, the business card portfolio from Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).

This is the third consecutive year that Ink from Chase surveyed CEOs and senior executives on the prominent Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing U.S. small businesses about their outlook on the economy, employment, general growth, and productivity tools, including mobile applications and online tools and social media channels.

Specific findings from this year’s survey revealed that:

Small business owners plan to hire employees and invest in talent, despite the economy

*Seventy-five percent say they are adding positions despite the economy (up from 72 percent in 2010 and from 49 percent in 2009)
*Fourteen percent are hiring to upgrade talent

There is room for profit growth as small business owners plan U.S.-based growth strategy

*Sixty-seven percent are planning to expand into new U.S. markets
*Fifty-nine percent are planning to produce more revenue from existing customers
*For fiscal year 2011 - 33 percent say their firms will exceed both revenue and profit goals, while 30 percent expect that they will meet their revenue/profit goals.
*When asked “Three to six months from now - how do you think your business will be doing?” - the response was:
*Fifty-one percent responded ’Slightly better’
*Twenty-three percent responded ’Much better’
*Twenty-one percent responded ’About the same’
*We are inspired by the optimism shown by small business owners and their plans to grow, upgrade talent and hire, despite the current economic environment,“ said Richard Quigley, president of Ink from Chase. ”Ink from Chase will continue to focus on the fundamental financial needs of small business owners and providing them with the solutions they need to succeed"

Inc. magazine President Bob LaPointe said, “Small to mid-sized growth companies continue to demonstrate remarkable resilience in spite of economic uncertainty. Their rock solid track record of growth underscores the importance these businesses have on net new job generation and contribution to our economy.”

About Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000
Inc., the only major business magazine focused exclusively for CEOs of fast-growing, private companies, delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. provides hands-on resources and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology. The publication also looks beyond work to address the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Inc. inspires and informs, with cutting-edge coverage that reflects our readers’ energy, brashness, and imagination.

The Inc. 500|5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success.

The Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that brings the nation’s brightest, most successful business minds together to celebrate their remarkable achievements. In addition to an awards ceremony, the event offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers and evening functions.

For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000 Conference, visit

Editor’s Note: The 2011 Inc. 5000 CEO Research Study queried members of the Inc. 500|5000 CEO e-mail database between September 9, 2011 and September 14, 2011, and received 390 total responses.

About Ink from Chase
Ink from Chase is a portfolio of business cards offering robust, flexible payment solutions and resources to meet the unique needs of small business owners, from spending habits to cash flow needs to rewards. This business card portfolio, which features Chase’s pay-in-full charge card (a first from issuers of Visa® or MasterCard®), includes the Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Classic and Ink Cash cards.

In addition to offering small business owners powerful cards and services, Ink from Chase launched JotSM, a mobile application and online solution which saves small business owners time by enabling them to easily track, categorize and organize business expenses immediately from their iPhone® and Android™; mobile devices or online.

All Ink cards are accepted worldwide at twice as many locations as American Express, giving small business owners a broader range of purchasing options and more opportunities to earn rewards - up to 25 percent more than American Express. Ink cards are supported by Chase’s 5,000 bank branches and their trusted staffs, and are designed to meet the individual needs of small business owners. Earlier this year, Chase raised its 2011 small business lending pledge to $12 billion from $10 billion in 2010. During the first six months of 2011, Chase provided credit to more than 150,000 small businesses in the United States. It also doubled its approved SBA lending and has made the most Small Business Administration loans to U.S. companies during the first half of SBA’s current fiscal year.

About Chase
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 5,200 bank branches, 16,200 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at


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