U.S. Economy, Accessibility to Loans and Taxes Top Concerns in "2013 National Survey of Small-to-Medium Business Executives"

U.S. Economy, Accessibility to Loans and Taxes Top Concerns in "2013 National 
Survey of Small-to-Medium Business Executives" 
Businesses Cautiously Optimistic About U.S. Economy 
JOHNS CREEK, GA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/27/13 --  Saia Inc. (NASDAQ:
SAIA) today announced the findings from the "2013 National Survey of
Small-to-Medium Business Executives," a nationwide survey of U.S.
executives on their concerns and challenges related to economic
conditions and the business environment. Small-to-medium businesses
nationwide continue to be most concerned about the U.S. economy, yet
show signs of cautious optimism. Close to half of respondents said
the U.S. economy is slightly improving. Only seven percent thought
the economy was strongly rebounding. Thirty-five percent of
respondents from the "2011 Saia National Survey of Small to
Medium-Sized Business Executives" thought it was improving either
somewhat or strongly. 
"Small to medium-sized businesses indicate they see some improvement
in the economy, but continue to be wary of excess spending or
hiring," said Sally Buchholz, Saia's vice president of customer
service and marketing. "For companies that provide essential services
to these businesses, as Saia does, the study's findings reinforce the
importance of delivering what small businesses need reliably and
affordably. Small businesses are critical to the economy by helping
to provide local jobs as well as services and products to the
country's largest corporations." 
Biggest Business Challenges 
Small-to-medium business executives nationwide believe the greatest
challenge facing their business is the U.S. economy (59 percent),
followed by the costs of running a business (33 percent) and changes
to government regulation (19 percent). Only 16 percent of executives
said increased healthcare costs were one of their greatest
challenges. 
While the U.S. economy is the lead concern, it is down from 65
percent from the 2011 survey. 
Barriers to New Business 
Nearly 50 percent believe that accessibility to loans is the largest
barrier to entrepreneurs starting a new business. Close behind, at 35
percent, were taxes. The uncertainty of healthcare legislation ranked
third.  
Infrastructure and Roads 
Seventy-six percent believe that the U.S. government should be
con
cerned about the country's infrastructure and roads, but only 24
percent are concerned that the problems will affect their business. 
Projections for 2013 
When asked which quarter will be their strongest in 2013, 32 percent
of executives said the third quarter. Thirty percent of respondents
said that the fourth quarter would be. Second and first quarters were
the strongest for 13 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Executives
stated that in previous years the third and fourth quarters were
their strongest as well.  
Compared to 2012, business executives see the majority of increases
in expenditures in the following areas:  


 
--  Cost of goods (50 percent)
--  Fuel (39 percent)
--  Healthcare (35 percent)
--  Marketing (30 percent)
--  Technology (25 percent)

  
Budgets and Overhead 
Forty-three percent reported spending more on business expenditures
in 2012 compared to 2011. Respondents also stated they expect to
spend more on goods, fuel and healthcare this year as opposed to last
year.  
Hiring only took place moderately in 2012; however, over 30 percent
of executives said they plan on increasing the number of employees
working at their companies this year. Still, the majority of
respondents, 63 percent, said they would forgo hiring and continue to
operate at their present staffing levels, which is consistent with
2011 findings.  
Shipping Goods in a Hurry 
Over 50 percent of those surveyed said that they are increasing their
2013 budget in comparison to 2012 when it comes to shipping goods via
a guaranteed or expedited service option. Executives also said they
plan on budgeting more for less-than-truckload moves, which typically
deliver within one and two days. On-time delivery continues to be the
carrier measurement respondents value the most at 84 percent.
Exception-free delivery trailed handily at a distant second with
close to 23 percent. 
About Saia Inc. 
Saia Inc. (NASDAQ: SAIA), with 2012 revenues in $1.1 billion, offers
customers a wide range of less-than-truckload, non-asset truckload,
and logistic services. The company operates 147 terminals in 34
states and is home to the industry-exclusive Customer Service
Indicators and Xtreme Guarantee. With headquarters in Georgia, Saia
employs 8,000 people nationwide. Saia LTL Freight has been recognized
by the American Trucking Associations Safety Management Council with
first place honors for its outstanding safety record. For more
information on Saia Inc. or any of the service groups, visit
www.saiacorp.com. 
About the Survey
 Conducted in January, the "2013 National Survey of
Small to Medium Business Executives," sponsored by Saia Inc., is
based on an online, nationwide survey of U.S. executives at small to
medium-size businesses. Of the 739 participants, 27 percent are based
in the South, 26 percent in the West, 25 percent in the Midwest and
21 percent in the Northeast. The survey's margin of error is plus or
minus six percent. To learn more, visit www.saiacorp.com or call
404-840-3404. 
More than half of respondents in the "2013 National Survey of Small
to Medium Business Executives" are business owners, presidents or
other executives in C-level positions. All participants in the survey
are manager level or higher. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed
work at a company with less than 25 employees, while the remainder of
respondents work at organizations with between 26 and 500 employees.  
Editor's Note
 Camera-ready charts and graphs in .JPG format are
available by contacting Jeannie S. Jump, Saia Corporate
Communications Coordinator, at 770-232-4069 or via e-mail at
jjump@saia.com. 
For more information, contact:
Nancy Mace
The Mace Group, LLC
Phone: 404-840-3404 
E-mail: nancy@macegroupllc.com 
Jeannie S. Jump
Saia Corporate Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: 770-232-4069 
E-mail: jjump@saia.com