The National Small Business Association released its 2012 Year-End Economic Report, which gives a snapshot of how small businesses in the country are performing. The result: small-business owners are feeling less optimistic about the future of their businesses and the economy, especially when compared to this time last year.
The report noted that 38% of the owners anticipated their firms growing in the coming year. This is the lowest this indicator has been since the NSBA began asking this question in 2009. Business owners surveyed said economic uncertainty as the number one challenge they face, followed by government regulations and rising health care costs.
One positive sign reported by business owners was their ability to obtain financing was at it the highest rated level it’s been in four years. But one in four small businesses lack necessary capital needed to grow their businesses, expand or purchase equipment.
“Between economic uncertainty, the failure of Congress to truly address the deficit and widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act, there are very few incentives to start or grow a small company,” said NSBA Chair David Ickert. “Surely lawmakers can do better.”
The report notes that the survey was conducted during the fiscal cliff crisis and that may have influenced the lower optimism and reduced confidence expressed by respondents.