In 2016, middle market executives present an optimistic view of their current business ― and anticipate it continuing to grow in the near future. Over the next 12 months, about 80% foresee expansion and diversification including: new markets, new regions, new businesses, and new products. Their perspective on financing is also generally positive and is predominantly driven by a need to address domestic expansion, technology, and working capital. The majority feel that their workforce has heavy demands placed on their time right now, but most believe that the size of their staff will increase soon, perhaps alleviating the current pressure. But, everything is not altogether smooth for the middle market. Most express near-term apprehension about the economy, data security, taxes, and healthcare. They do not express one unified vision of Congress, but the majority are in relative agreement that certain changes in the regulatory environment have been or will be good ― or at least neutral ― with respect to their business. That said, according to executives, it is important that the next Congress address terrorism, as well as concerns about data security, taxes, and healthcare.
Watch the video for more findings from the Voice of the Middle Market and download the complete research report below.
Middle market companies account for one-third of private sector GDP and employ 25% of the total labor force.
While less visible than both small and large caps and vastly undersupported, middle-market companies are a significant driver of the U.S. economy.
But what makes a company "middle market"? That depends on who you ask. Some define middle market by the number of employees or locations, others by revenue.
While there is no universally accepted definition, it is clear that these are organizations that are larger than Main Street, Mom-and-Pop shops, but smaller than your global multi-national corporations. They typically generate revenues between $5 million and $1 billion dollars annually, with 100 to 2,000 employees. If this describes your business, then you are a middle market company.
Whatever the delineation, it is clear that this broad definitional spectrum has contributed to an identity crisis of sorts for this large economic segment.
A recent study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CIT revealed that small business executives are highly likely to self-identify as a "small business," driven, in their own words, by the number of employees and/or how the business is owned.
However, middle market executives don't always see themselves as part of the middle market. In fact, respondents were virtually split, with 43% of middle market businesses identifying as middle market and 41% identifying as large businesses. The remaining 16% consider themselves small businesses.
However you choose to define it, the middle market's impact on economic and employment prospects cannot be discounted. This segment is an interesting class that will continue to play a pivotal role in the American economy's rapidly changing landscape.