Small Business Owners Forecast a Warm Summer According to Staples Small Business Index

  Small Business Owners Forecast a Warm Summer According to Staples Small
  Business Index

Majority of owners plan to go on vacation and are preparing for growth for the
                                 rest of 2012

Business Wire

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- June 28, 2012

Summer is officially underway, and small businesses report that they are
already feeling the heat -- in a good way. More than half (55 percent) of
small business owners and managers see their businesses as “heating up” and
expect business to grow over the rest of the year, according to a survey
conducted by Staples, Inc.

Many small businesses surveyed continue to feel more confident, with 70
percent reporting that they are planning to make changes that position
themselves for growth, and nearly 40 percent of those surveyed are looking to
increase marketing communications for the rest of the year.

In another indicator of the mindset of small businesses, a majority of owners
responded that they feel comfortable leaving the office for a traditional
vacation. More than half surveyed are planning summer vacation this year (67
percent), with 89 percent planning to leave town, instead of taking a
“staycation” at home. Technology certainly makes this easy, with more than
half planning to use laptops or other electronic devices to stay connected.

“We are pleased that small businesses are taking time to enjoy the summer and
are glad that our small business customers are feeling more optimistic,” said
Alison Corcoran, senior vice president of retail marketing for Staples.

Game On
With the weather heating up and the summer games around the corner, owners
feel that running a small business can be similar to training for elite
competition. In fact, many small business owners feel ready for competition in
their own “Small Business Summer Games” and compare themselves to the
following athletes:

  *Marathon Runner (33 percent): steady and focused with a strategy to win
  *Synchronized Swimmer (18 percent): organized, consistent and harmonized
  *Swimmer (17 percent): dive right into projects with an emphasis on speed
    and results
  *Track Runner (17 percent): constantly jumping over hurdles to cross the
    finish line
  *Gymnast (15 percent): agile, knowing how to tumble and land on their feet

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of those surveyed believe that their
company would win a medal, with nearly 40 percent confident they would take
home gold or silver.

Corcoran added “the diversity of talent in small businesses gives me the
confidence that they are ready to compete and finish the year at the top of
their game.”

As a trusted resource for small businesses, Staples conducted the survey to
stay in touch with what small businesses are feeling and thinking heading into
the second half of 2012. Staples makes it easy for small businesses to grow by
offering the latest in office solutions, technology and products.

About the Survey
The survey was developed by Staples and conducted by Decision Analyst, Inc. in
Arlington, Texas. Decision Analyst surveyed by Internet a
nationally-representative random sample of 501 owners and executives of
American businesses having no more than 20 employees. All respondents were
members of American Consumer Opinion® online, Decision Analyst’s proprietary
Internet based consumer-opinion panel with more than 8,500,000 members
globally. Interviews were conducted from May 10-15, 2012. Such a sample has a
margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent at the 95 percent confidence
level. For more information about American Consumer Opinion® online please
visit www.acop.com.

About Staples
Staples is the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source
for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in
office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and
furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has
annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales.
With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout
North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for
businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside
Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at
www.staples.com/media.

Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staples and on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/staples.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Karen Pevenstein, 508-253-0879
karen.pevenstein@staples.com
or
Carrie McElwee, 508-253-1405
carrie.mcelwee@staples.com
 
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