Small business owners less optimistic in September

Special to The Freeman

Oct. 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Even before the federal government shutdown’s full effects were felt, small business owners said they were feeling less optimistic about the future.

According Small Business Economic Trends data collected by the National Federation of Independent Business, small business owner optimism decreased by 0.20 from August’s reading of 94.1 for a measurement of 93.9.

“The largest contributing factor to the dip was the significant increase in pessimism about future business conditions, although this was somewhat offset by a notable increase in number of small-business owners expecting higher sales,” according to a release from the NFIB.

Twenty-four percent of owners surveyed in September cited regulations and red tape as their No. 1 business problem, 18 percent cited taxes, and 17 percent cited “poor sales.” Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem, according to the report.

“The change in this month’s Index was little more than ‘statistical noise,’ but the drop in outlook for future economic conditions is evidence that many owners are keeping an eye on Washington,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Job creation by small businesses was also down in September. NFIB owners reduced employment by an average of 0.1 workers per firm in September after August’s slight gain, according to the report. Small business owners, however, are anticipating an increase in sales, according to the report.