Most small business owners and manufacturers would not start a new business in today’s rocky economic environment, much less expand or hire new workers, according to a survey by two large business groups.
The poll for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) found that 55 percent of the 800 small business owners, manufacturers and decision makers at small and mid-sized companies believe the economy is worse off than it was three years ago. The respondents cited federal regulations, taxes, government spending and the cost of health insurance and energy as negative factors affecting the economy.
NFIB CEO Dan Danner said small businesses are clamoring for elected officials to be leaders. “Yet, instead of smoothing the way, our government continues to erect more barriers to growth through burdensome regulations that increase costs for small businesses and all Americans,” he said.
Key findings from the survey included:
• 67 percent complained of too much uncertainty to expand, grow or hire new workers.
• 69 percent said President Barack Obama’s executive branch and regulatory policies have harmed small businesses and manufacturers.
• 55 percent would not start a new business in current conditions.
• 54 percent believe China and India are more supportive of small businesses and manufacturers than the United States is.
“Manufacturers have told policymakers in Washington time and again that uncertainty and a negative business environment is turning the American dream into a nightmare,” said NAM CEO Jay Timmons.
More than one in five said they would consider dropping health insurance coverage for their employees because of the new Obamacare health laws.
Separately, a national survey of CFOs by the professional services firm Deloitte was also gloomy. In that poll, 47 percent of CFOs were more pessimistic about the performances of their companies. The survey concluded the results were the “most somber year-over-year expectations in the history of the CFO Signals survey.”
The CFO respondents cited the federal government’s budget impasse, taxes and regulatory changes as their chief concerns.
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