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Poll: Business owners dealing economic stress

June 21, 2009

Business owners say the economy is requiring longer work hours and fewer vacations, but majority still find time for outside activities
By Wells Fargo Bank,

SAN FRANCISCO — June 18, 2009: The economy is taking a toll on the day-to-day lives of business owners, but most said they still have a balance between their work and outside interests. The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, surveyed April 1-14, shows nearly one third (31 percent) of respondents said they’re working more hours than they used to. Three-quarters (76 percent) said they feel more stress due to the economy, and the majority (60 percent) said the economy has caused them to cancel or scale back vacations due to cost or to spend more time at work.

Despite that, 69 percent said they’re satisfied with the balance they strike between their work life and personal life, slightly more than when the question was last surveyed in 2005 (67 percent). While sixty- four percent said they work at least 50 hours a week (with almost a quarter of these saying they work 70 hours or more per week), many still find time for other interests: 63 percent said they have spent time on a hobby in the last 12 months, and 59 percent said they volunteered in their communities.

The Index is a quarterly survey of small business owners, about a timely trend or topic in the context of the current environment. It also is used to gauge small business owners’ ratings of the current situation of their businesses and how they expect their business to perform over the next 12 months. Results are based on telephone interviews with 602 small business owners nationwide conducted April 1-14.

“The Index provides insight into the lives of business owners and the challenges they face, especially in this difficult economy,” said David Pope, Wells Fargo Small Business Segment Manager. “This quarter’s Index survey results show us that while many business owners may be facing difficult times, they remain passionate about their businesses, while maintaining a satisfying balance between their work, personal interests and communities.”

About Gallup
For more than 70 years, Gallup has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people’s attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup’s current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world’s largest corporations and institutions.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,400 stores, over 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.

Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act data (2007) and the #1 SBA 7a national bank lender in total dollar volume (2008). Wells Fargo has loaned close to $39 billion to women, African American, Latino and Asian business owners since 1995. For more information, speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.
Note: Survey results available upon request.

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