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Research Unveiled, Shows Commitment to Middle Market

Published: 2011-10-06

Norwalk, Conn., and Columbus, Ohio, October 6, 2011 – (NYSE: GE) – Results from the largest study ever of the U.S. Middle Market show this business segment is the nation’s surest bet for economic recovery. The study, a survey of more than 2,000 business leaders and analysis of economic data conducted by The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business (Fisher) and GE Capital, found Middle Market firms, defined as the segment between small and big business, surprisingly resilient throughout the economic crisis.   

The study is part of Fisher’s and GE Capital’s new multi-year partnership to research, analyze and map the Middle Market and create a blueprint for sustained segment growth in the years ahead. Included in this partnership is the establishment of the new National Middle Market Center (The Center) at Fisher, the first of its kind which will serve as a center of excellence for Middle Market research, business resources and peer-to-peer networking. 

“As the U.S. struggles through the worst economic crisis in recent history, Middle Market firms are keeping local economies viable and represent the country’s strongest engine for growth and long-term success,” said Mike Neal, Chairman and CEO, GE Capital. “This segment needs support for continued growth and through our partnership with Fisher and by targeting $120 billion in Middle Market funding in 2011 in North America, GE Capital is committed to ensuring this critical market segment thrives.”

Key highlights from the research study

The Middle Market is the largest source of sustainable economic growth and job creation today.

  • Middle Market firms generate $3.84 trillion toward U.S. private sector GDP – the equivalent of the world’s fourth largest economy – in a time of nearly standstill growth.
  • Eighty percent of Middle Market firms expect to grow over the next twelve months.
  • More than one-third of U.S. workers are employed by the Middle Market.


And in the face of uncertain economic times, Middle Market firms survived - and in many cases thrived.

  • Eighty two percent of Middle Market firms survived the recession - compared to a little more than half of small business.
  • These same Middle Market firms added 2.2 million jobs, while big business shed 3.7 million jobs 2007-2010.
  • One in four big businesses was a Middle Market company just five years ago.

 

The Middle Market’s diversity makes it more resilient against market changes and economic downturns. 

  • Unlike big or small businesses, Middle Market companies are not concentrated in one geographic region, one industry, or one ownership structure.

 

Despite their success, Middle Market firms do face a unique set of challenging headwinds.

  • More than half (55 percent) of Middle Market firms say they face challenges when it comes to accessing money from the capital markets.
  • Seventy one percent are challenged by regulatory compliance.

 

“Our intent was to shed light on the true impact of the Middle Market, what has helped these firms thrive in the past, and what challenges must be overcome to ensure their continued growth in the future. The National Middle Market Center will leverage these insights and findings and provide a channel to help Middle Market firms reach their full growth potential,” said Christine A. Poon, Dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher College of Business.

Study results and GE Capital’s long-term commitment to the Middle Market were announced at the Leading from the Middle conference, a summit for Middle Market decision makers held today at The Ohio State University. 

For a full report on the research findings as well as information on The Center, please visit nationalmiddlemarketsummit.com