First Capital Business Solutions Proprietary “First Capital Index”

Strategic Document Compiles Credit Card Processing Data to Measure Economic Trends.
Will Help to Inform Strategic Business Decisions and Local Investment.

First Capital Business Solutions has released the “First Capital Index,” a collection of indexes utilizing monthly credit card processing data across a wide range of businesses to measure economic trends in spending. Specifically, the Index measures growth or decline in business activity by business type and geography.

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The First Capital Index is divided into three business categories, including retail business, eating places, and service businesses, across four geographic areas – Center City, Northeast, Northwest, and South encompassing every zip code within Monroe County. The Index was created from a subset of more than $360 million in credit and debit card sales and more than 12 million transactions, for 2016 and 2017.

The Index specifically measures two pieces of data. First is Index Value, which shows the growth or decline in credit card sales from the preceding month. The Cumulative Index shows growth or decline in sales since the beginning of the index.

Highlights of this first published Index, expected to be updated twice per year, include:

  • The greatest business activity for all indexes was in the Spring, specifically May and June
  • Both October and December also experienced growth in business activity
  • The lowest business activity for all indices was right after the holidays, January and February – with eating places showing less of a decline than retail, while services showed some growth
  • The overall data suggests that businesses in the eating places category experienced a slight improvement throughout 2016, while retail and service businesses experienced slightly decreased business activity
  • In 2017, services segment improved to a greater degree than eating places, while retail remain stagnant
  • Of the four geographies, the Center City Business District saw the most improvement in 2017 relative to 2016

First Capital Business Solutions maintains credit and debit card sales records for more than 120 Merchant Category Codes (MCC). First Capital supports credit card processing, point-of-sale solutions, as well as the funding and financing needs of hundreds of Upstate New York businesses, many in the Greater Rochester Region.

The First Capital Index, 2017 was developed by a team of merchant service and research professionals, including Hernandez, Sr.; Dr. James W. Maddison, research associate, center for popular research, education and policy; Ken Signorelo, president, Results, Inc.; and Joseph Civiletti , director of accounting at First Capital Business Solutions. No personal information, beyond credit or debit card sales receipts were obtained in the preparation of this Index.

For more information about the methodology and other background on the First Capital Index or First Capital Business Solutions call 877.506.9746.

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