Small businesses in Pacific states led the nation in sales growth and ranked second in employment growth in the first half of 1987, but experienced a decline in new business formations, according an American Express survey.
California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii accounted for the highest percentage growth in sales--1.89%--among nine U.S. regions, according to the American Express' newly launched Small Business Growth Index, which is designed to measure the growth of more than 7 million small companies in the United States.
The region's small businesses ranked second in employment growth at 2.24%. However, new business incorporations fell 6.92%.
"While the Pacific region's small businesses are currently enjoying increasing sales and have been able to hire many new employees, the region's decline in new business incorporations represents a dark cloud over its otherwise positive business performance," said David Birch, chairman of American Express Small Business Partnership, which provides small companies with management services and resources.