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.