The Index of Small Business Optimism, a monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, hit 94.5 last month–the highest reading since the 94.6 it registered right before the recession began in December 2007. The numbers have been inching up since August 2010, minus a dip in December.
But does this mean a smidgen of hope for an economic rebound? Not so fast, says Thomas Boston, Ph.D., an economics professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and CEO of EuQuant, an economic and statistical research company. “The majority of small business owners are still more pessimistic about the future than they are optimistic,â€ he says, citing persistent low sales, slow payment cycles, fewer purchases and reduced aid from government agencies, and trouble accessing credit.
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For more on the outlook of small business, read “Better Than Nothingâ€ in the March 2011 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE.