Entrepreneurs See Generational Divide on Economic Issues

The differences between Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y may seem obvious, but when it comes to business practices and optimism about the future, the divide is widening.

According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, which is released each spring, each generation—the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y—has specific outlooks on the economy and business prospects.

After surveying more than 700 entrepreneurs with fewer than 100 employees, researchers concluded that Generation Y has the most positive outlook on the future, Generation X is challenged in finding innovative marketing techniques and Baby Boomers are most likely to have cash flow issues.

Although many of them have lived and survived through previous economic downturns, Baby Boomers (ages 46-63) appear to be more pessimistic about the future of the economy. Seven out of 10 believe that the worst of the U.S. economic woes are not over, 35% say they expect sales to be lower than last year and 64% are experiencing cash flow problems.

Generation Xer’s (ages 30-45) have a more positive outlook—44% say they expect higher sales than last year but six in 10 believe that the economic woes are far from over.

Generation Y (19-29) is the most optimistic, with 72% having positive feelings about the economy and nearly half planning to hire.

To read the entire survey, visit www.openforum.com/smallbusinessmonitor.