Small business outlook grows worse
Small businesses in the bay area clamoring for attention from government bailout gurus just got some fresh ammunition.
The National Small Business Association released a report today showing that the small biz set is increasingly pessimistic about its economic fortunes. Ninety-one percent of businesses surveyed over the last two weeks in December said the national economy is worse than five years ago, up from 68 percent in August. Only 3 percent anticipate growth for the coming year, down from 21 percent in August.
"Beyond the significant concerns small-business owners expressed about the overall U.S. economy, more than one-third are not confidant about the future of their own business,'' association president Todd O. McCracken said. Indeed, the number of small businesses hiring employees in the past 12 months fell from 30 percent in August to just 18 percent in December.
Such pessimism from a group of "traditionally up-beat entrepreneurs'' should send a strong signal that they're suffering to Congress as it crafts an economic stimulus package, McCracken says.
For more tales of small business struggles and strategies to overcome the recession, check out tampabay.com's Recession Survival Guide.
--Jeff Harrington, Times Staff Writer