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Mid-Market Enterprises: Secret Ingredient for Economic Growth

February 09, 2018, 07:35 AM
Filed Under: Economic Commentary

Mid-market enterprises (MMEs) in the U.S. are a major contributor to U.S. economic prosperity but have only just scratched the surface of growth potential, according to a newly released HSBC report.

HSBC Commercial Banking, in conjunction with Oxford Economics, explored the views of 1,400 MME senior executives in 14 countries – including the US – in addition to in-depth economic analysis.

The findings reveal that despite the heady uplift provided by U.S. MMEs to economic growth, only a mere seven percent (7%) of their revenue comes from international business activity.

“Mid-size firms are the backbone of our economy, making significant contributions to growth and employment. HSBC has long been serving clients domestically and abroad in this pivotal space,” said Martin Richards, Head of Corporate Banking for HSBC USA.

Richards emphasized: “It’s clear there is a substantial amount of untapped potential for US mid-market companies to enter the global marketplace. By considering international strategies and increasing their cross-border activity, MMEs will have access to a larger customer base, which in turn will positively impact revenues.”

Domestic and international expansion on the horizon for MMEs, but not without challenge. HSBC geared up to support

In comparison to global respondents, the study reveals that U.S. MME decision-makers think revenue growth will be the most important driver of financial performance, for both existing (33% vs. 29%) and new (23% vs. 18%) domestic markets. The business leaders cite collaborating with external partners (50% vs. 44%) and financing will be priorities for them (41% vs. 35%).

MMEs in the U.S. are also slightly less confident in their local economy (65% vs. 69%) and identified skill shortages (59% vs. 50%) as one of the biggest threats they are currently facing.

“These figures signify that the appetite to enter new markets and partnerships already exists, it’s just a matter of finding the best approach to magnify their footprint,” said Richards.

Other key findings include:

  • U.S. MMEs rely on imports for approximately 14 percent (14%) of their supply chain purchases. While Canada and Mexico are important trading partners, the second-largest source of imports is China.
  • U.S. decision makers think that investing in innovation (63% vs. 58%) is a top priority. This correlates closely with the belief that they are more likely to be first to market with new innovations (40% vs. 34%) and be a disruptor (39 % vs. 28%).

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