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Small-business economic outlook dims

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Small-business economic outlook dims

Optimism falls, despite better access to capital.

According to a study released today by the National Small Business Association, small-business owners expressed a less positive outlook on the overall economy. However, 75% are confident in their own business—the highest this indicator has been in four years.

"While small-business owners are more concerned with the economy, we're seeing modest improvements in hiring, employee compensation and access to financing," stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. "This dichotomy is not surprising giving the recent stock market volatility and rhetoric surrounding the 2016 election."

Although access to capital has improved for small firms—the number of small firms able to garner financing today is at its eight-year high of 73%—one-in-four small firms still cannot access adequate financing. Another indicator of financial improvement is the number of firms who increased employee compensation over the last 12 months (57%) and those who plan to do so in the coming 12 months (60%). Both numbers are the highest they've been in eight years.

"Economic insecurity is the biggest challenge facing small firms today."

The survey also asked about cybersecurity and found that 42% of small businesses report they have been the victim of a cyber-attack.

"Economic insecurity is the biggest challenge facing small firms today," stated NSBA Chair Cookie Driscoll, owner of C. Cookie Driscoll Inc. of Fairfield, Pennsylvania. "Policymakers play a very real role in these trends and, unfortunately, our survey found that just five percent of small-business owners believe that the various presidential candidates understand small business very well."

 

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