Sixty percent of small-business owners/executives said the climate for their companies has gotten worse over the past two years, according to the Small Business Outlook Survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The survey reveals worrisome expectations for the coming year. Almost half (49%) surveyed worry their businesses’ best days may be behind them, only 15 percent believe the economy will improve over the next two years, a meager 17 percent plan to hire more workers in 2013 and 84 percent are pessimistic about their future operations.
The pessimism is a result of the fiscal cliff that is drawing closer without any sign of resolution. Continued failure by Congress to take action will result in tax rates increasing in January for everyone and deep across-the-board cuts will be made in federal spending.
72 percent of small-business owners say they are “very concerned” about the fiscal cliff (up from 65 in the last survey), with 60 percent believing it will have a significant impact on their businesses.
Small business owners are clear about what they need most from Washington: certainty, not more government assistance. This group views health care reform as a cost problem, not a solution. More than 75 percent said health care reform makes it harder to add employees.
The chamber’s survey of 1,391 small-business owners and executives was conducted online by Harris Interactive. All of the survey participants run companies with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue of less than $25 million.
The Chamber survey comes on the heels of another recent survey that was commissioned by the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies that found nearly 70 percent of the 800 business owners and executives surveyed say current administration policies are hurting small business, including small manufacturers. Two-thirds said the economic uncertainty is preventing them from expanding their businesses, and 55 percent said they would not start a business in today’s economic climate.
The POS survey, like the Chamber survey, cited cost increases in health insurance as a drag on job creation.
U.S. Debt Clock
It is time to put the future of the country’s next generations ahead of political gain-we are approaching the point of no return with our fiscal policies and if not addressed now, it will be too late.
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