Small-Business Owners Giving Economy Mixed Reviews

Small-business owners are feeling a little bit better about the economy, but aren’t as convinced that the stimulus package now before Congress will address their concerns, according to a newly released survey.

While an earlier survey, conducted in October by PayCycle of Palo Alto, found 56 percent of small-business owners “very worried” about the economy, the new survey, conducted late last month, found that number dropped to 39 percent. However, small-business owners aren’t letting go of their angst, with 48 percent still “somewhat worried,” up from 35 percent.

“The October survey was conducted just after the market crash, and small-business owners were, justifiably, very scared,” PayCycle CEO Jim Heeger said in a news release. “Now, we are seeing small business confidence begin to creep up.”

This uptick in optimism is despite nearly half (48 percent) indicating they are "not at all confident" that President Obama and Congress will pass a stimulus package that addresses the needs of small-business owners. Thirty-nine percent indicated they are "somewhat confident" that the President and Congress will pass a stimulus package that will meet their needs, and only 13 percent indicated they are "very confident" about this.

Fifty-eight percent now believe the recovery will take a year to 18 months, up from 50 percent.

“We are beginning to see a moderation of expectation around an anticipated economic recovery,” Heeger said. “Small-business owners are typically realists. They are closest to the consumer and are an important barometer of expectation.”

The survey compiled responses from 478 small businesses selected from PayCycle’s customer base.


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