Poll: Small Business Owners Feeling Glum About The Economy
Small business owners are getting frustrated. The elections are now only a few weeks away and the candidates are giving little help to the remaining undecided small business voters. Indeed, both candidates constantly claim that “the other guy” is going to mess everything up for small business and as a result the average small business owner’s outlook for the economy has declined. Just look at the results from the latest Hartford Insurance Group survey released this week. In it, they found that roughly only a third of the 2,000 small business owners that participated are reflecting any optimism about the economy and its chances of improving by year end. This is a sharp decline from the 61 percent reading when the same survey was conducted this past spring.
A lot of these small business owners’ concerns are derived from the myriad of uncertainties this country faces. The uneasiness about the slow pace of the economic recovery, plus the unknown regulations and legislation that could result from an election mix-up, not to mention a failure of Congress to compromise on the fiscal cliff are some of the main reasons behind small businesses holding off on hiring new employees. This uncertainty slows down investment and labor expansion which begets more of the same as these occurrences put more of a drag on the recovery thereby creating a negative effect that feeds on itself. Unsurprisingly, 60 percent of small business owners reported that they did not add to their staffs in the last year and 67 percent stated they did not intend on making any new hirings over the next year. That’s not exactly what you want to hear from the group that is known for being the job creators of America. Reuters continues, “About 40 percent of small businesses polled said they were focused on growth, while 52 percent said they were just trying to maintain their current revenue and employee levels. Slow economic growth (67 percent), taxes (59 percent) and uncertainty with federal regulations (56 percent) were listed as the top reasons by small business owners for their lack of enthusiasm towards the overall economy. More than 75 percent of respondents expected their taxes to increase and 54 percent said they would likely offset the impact by not hiring. Nearly 30 percent said they would cut staff to accommodate higher taxes. McGee added 85 percent of small business owners said they just want to make enough money to live comfortably and 81 percent said they want to do something they feel passionate about. Additionally, 70 percent said they want to pay their employees enough for them to have a comfortable lifestyle. Despite the overall economic malaise, close to 70 percent described their business as “moderately successful,” a seeming contradiction that McGee characterized as the “can-do” nature of entrepreneurs…”
Source - Reuters