Freight Factoring News: Small Businesses Optimistic on Future Revenue and Profits but Concerned About Rising Costs of Energy, Healthcare and Taxes.

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Visa Press Release Shows Optimistic Outlook for the Future of Small Business

New Quarterly Report from Visa – Small Business Spend Insights – Provides Data-Driven Perspective on Small Business Confidence and Outlook

Small Businesses Optimistic on Future Revenue and Profits but Concerned About Rising Costs of Energy, Healthcare and Taxes

Visa Press Release- June 6, 2007

A new small business spending report released today by Visa USA indicates that, while small businesses remain relatively bullish about revenue growth, increasing expenditures on energy, healthcare and taxes are pressing concerns for small business owners. The report, titled "Visa Small Business Spend Insights," will be published quarterly and provides a comprehensive view of the U.S. small business climate by combining a poll of U.S. small businesses with the most current Visa spending data on small business cards.

"More than most, small business owners are susceptible to the effects of rising costs and fluctuations in the economy. As such, they need to hedge against spending increases and economic uncertainty by making smart IT investment decisions and utilizing cash management tools such as payment cards," said Wayne Best, senior vice president, Business and Economic Analysis, Visa USA.

Small Business Spending Outlook
The report identified the following four key spending areas that are currently of top concern among small businesses:

Energy

  • 75 percent of the small business owners surveyed believe that energy spending will increase over the next six months.
  • The average spend per transaction on Visa Business cards for energy-related expenditures increased 18 percent for the 12 months ending February 2007.

Healthcare

  • 34 percent of respondents expressed concern that cost of health care insurance will increase over the next six months, with this concern being the highest among small businesses with two or more employees.
  • The average spending on Visa Business cards on healthcare-related expenditures increased 17 percent for the 12 months ending February 2007.

Taxes

  • 20 percent of respondents expressed concern about rising taxes in the next six months.
    The average spending on Visa Business cards on tax preparation services and tax payments increased by 80 percent for the 12 months ending February 2007.
  • Purchases for tax payments and tax preparation have an average spend per transaction that is three times the size of the average purchase for all Visa Business card transactions.

Attracting Customers

  • 22 percent of small businesses surveyed expressed concerns about attracting new customers over the next six months
  • The average spending on Visa Business cards for advertising, management consultants/public relations, publishing and related expenses increased by 56 percent for the 12 months ending February 2007, twice the growth rate of expenditures in all categories.

Small Business Profit & Loss Overview
The report results indicate that the future outlook for both small business revenue and profits is positive based on the following key findings:

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of small business owners surveyed expected an increase in revenues over the next six months, compared with only 11 percent who expected a revenue decrease over the same period.
  • 39 percent of small business owners surveyed expected an increase in profits over the next six months, compared with 19 percent who expected lower profits over the same period.
  • In terms of cash flow, only 17 percent of those surveyed expect that they will need to borrow more money in the next six months, while just 18 percent expect to have issues collecting payment in the same timeframe.

"Visa, as a leading provider of small business payment products and processor of financial transactions, has a unique window into the spending habits of U.S. small businesses," said Raghav Lal, senior vice president, small business, Visa USA. "By comparing small business attitudes with current Visa spending, we can provide insights into small business confidence and outlook. This analysis enables Visa and our member financial institutions to deliver small businesses with payment solutions tailored more closely to their needs."

For more information on Visa Small Business Solutions or to view the complete Visa Small Business Insights newsletter, go to www.usa.visa.com/business

About Small Business Spend Insights
Visa Small Business Spend Insights is a quarterly survey to monitor the relative economic confidence of small businesses with $50,000 - $25,000,000 in annual revenue. More than 600 small businesses are included in the quarterly survey.

About Visa USA
Visa USA is a leading payments brand and the nation's largest payments system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders - financial institutions, cardholders and merchants. In the United States, more than 521 million Visa-branded cards have been issued by our 13,320 financial institution customers.

Visa products generated nearly $1.8 trillion in total volume in the United States through March 2007 and enjoy unsurpassed acceptance around the globe. For more information, visit www.visa.com

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