Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

New Family Business Survey Finds Cincinnati Firms More Optimistic about the Economy

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:30 PM
UC's Goering and Economic Centers in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business release first-of-its-kind survey.
Goering Center Survey

Results from a new quarterly survey of Cincinnati area family firms—the first of its kind in the nation—reveal that while local business owners have some uncertainty about the economy, they are in general more optimistic than their national counterparts.

During the last quarter of 2011, two Centers at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Linder College of Business launched the Greater Cincinnati Family Business Survey (GCFB). This survey tracks the economic outlook of over 200 local family firms. Its main finding is based on comparing local survey data with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends Survey of November 2011. GCFB survey questions mirror the NFIB study.

Sponsored by First Financial Bank, the GCFB study is conducted jointly by the Goering Center for Family and Private Business and the Economics Center.

Additional findings from the GCFB survey include:

  • A larger proportion of local business owners, compared the national respondents to the NFIB survey, believe that now is a good time to expand their businesses.
  • A larger proportion of local businesses expect to enjoy higher real sales in the first quarter of 2012 to increase employment, and to make capital purchases.
  • An exception to the general optimism of local businesses is that a greater share expects worse credit conditions in the next quarter compared to their national counterparts.

The condition of the national economy over the last year has influenced the perceptions of local and national businesses. Overall, the U.S. economy delivered mixed results in 2011.
Local businesses’ general optimism accords with the regional outlook produced by the Cincinnati USA Partnership for Economic Development and the Northern Kentucky Regional Chamber of Commerce. The 2012 Regional Outlook included estimates of key indicators for 2011 indicating modest growth in Gross Regional Product (1.7 percent) and total employment (1.1 percent). Thus, the year is expected to conclude on a positive, although not robust, note for the economic recovery.

The Greater Cincinnati Family Business Survey will be conducted quarterly in 2012 and beyond. For further information, please call Sid Barton, PhD, at (513)556-7185 or email

About the Goering Center for Family and Private Business
Founded in 1988, the Goering Center for Family & Private Business at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business is a leading resource for family and closely held business education and information. To accelerate growth, the Goering Center help member firms address the unique issues such businesses face, including family leadership development, succession planning, governance issues, communication techniques, compensation issues, conflict resolutions, strategic planning and advisory boards. More information is available at the Goering Center’s web site

About the Economics Center
Founded in 1977, the Economic Center is a leading provider of economic resources for educators, students, businesses, and public agencies. The Research and Consulting Division of the Economics Center provides knowledge building blocks that help clients make better finance, policy and economic development decisions. Its dynamic approach and critical data analysis empower business and civic leaders to respond to changing economic conditions, strengthen local economies and improve the quality of life for their communities. The Economic Center’s web site is at

About First Financial Bank
First Financial Bank is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had $6.7 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in loans, $5.6 billion in deposits and $712 million in shareholders’ equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its three lines of business: commercial, retail and wealth management. The Company’s strategic operating markets are in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky where it operates 136 banking centers. The research was sponsored by First Financial Bank. Additional information is available at