CNNMoney Survey: Small Businesses Not Feeling the Economic Recovery

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 07:57 AM

By Michael Kling

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The stock market may have jumped, unemployment may have dropped and corporate profits may be high, but small business owners say the economic recovery has yet to benefit them.

Less then half (40 percent) of small business owners who participated in a CNNMoney-Manta survey said sales are up, according to CNNMoney. What's more, just 14 percent said they are hiring more workers than they did last year, and 65.6 percent are not applying for additional financing.

The economy was cited by 30.5 percent of the entrepreneurs as the biggest concern. Other major issues are costs of doing business (22.8 percent), regulations (15.8 percent), financing (10.1 percent), healthcare (7.9 percent), lack of time (7.1 percent) and finding skilled workers (5.7 percent).

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

"Small companies have to take a greater hit to the wallet to compete with big businesses," one respondent stated, complaining about the economy and cost of doing business. "It's almost better to have a 9-to-5 job than to be your own boss."

"Business is too unstable," another respondent said. "I can't afford to hire anyone else at this point."

Only 10 percent of the survey participants said Obamacare will help them, but 38 percent said it would hurt, CNNMoney reported. The remainder said they didn't know or it wouldn't impact them.

"The new laws are so convoluted that it makes it hard to know what's coming," said one business owner.

Another said he might lose his best employees because he cannot afford health insurance.

Still, most (63 percent) said the United States is the best country for starting a business.

The survey was sent to 50,000 small business owners who are members of Manta.com, a networking website for entrepreneurs, and 1,048 responded.

"Small business produces half the private [gross domestic product] and employs half the private sector work force. But it is not growing, not hiring, not borrowing and not expanding enough," the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)'s Small Business Economic Trends report for April 2013 stated. "Small business owners have been depressed since 2007 and that has not changed."

Of the group's members responding to a March survey, 77 percent expect the economy to be no better or even worse in six months. Only 4 percent think the current period is a good time to expand substantially

More business owners plan to reduce employment in the coming months than create new jobs, the NFIB said. And more owners plan to reduce inventories than to order new stocks.

"The bulk of growth," the report stated, "comes from the increase in our population of about 3 million people and the growing need to simply replace stuff that is wearing out, not enough to get the economy back to trend growth much less the strong growth needed to restore employment to 2007 levels."

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

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