Entrepreneurs in New Jersey are feeling good about the state's economic climate — so good that many would consider launching a new business right now, according to a new survey from the Entrepreneurs' Organization.
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), a global network of business owners whose companies do more than $1 million in annual revenues, surveyed its members in New Jersey and around the world and found that 85 percent of its members in the state would start a new business today, compared to just 77 percent in 2012.
That figure illustrates an overall sense of optimism in the state of New Jersey, where EO's 85 or so members account for roughly $500 million in total annual sales and employ more than 2,100 people.
Alex Zaltsman, president of EO and CEO of the mobile app developer Innovi Mobile, said many of those members own service businesses, which have turned around faster than product-based businesses.
"That definitely has an impact on the recovery in New Jersey," Zaltsman said. "When those companies turn around, our small businesses turn around as well."
About 48 percent of EO's New Jersey members reported that they had increased the number of full-time employees on staff during the past six months. In addition, 65 percent expect to add full-time staff members in the next six months. That's more than New York, where about 62 percent of members plan on hiring full-timers in the next six months, and Philadelphia, where the figure was around 55 percent.
The survey also found that 63 percent of members saw a net profit increase over the past six months, and 84 percent predict a profit increase in the next six months — a figure once again several percentage points higher than our neighbors in New York and Philadelphia.
Zaltsman said it helps that New Jersey is between those two hubs and can benefit from the activity going on there. He's also noticed, at least with his own customers, that people are more willing to invest in technology, compared to three years ago when those investments had virtually stalled.
"We got through the tough times, and now things are definitely looking much better," Zaltsman said.
"Our customers are taking more risks," he added. "And that's what driving my business."