Florida Chamber survey: Small Businesses say economic uncertainty is No. 1 concern

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Latest results from the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council survey ranks economic uncertainty as the leading obstacle preventing small businesses from growing and hiring new employees. Access to capital, Florida’s growth management process, government regulations and taxes round out the top five issues concerning Florida small businesses.

“Small businesses have overwhelmingly identified economic uncertainty and the inability to obtain financing as the top obstacles preventing them from hiring and growing,” said Tim Giuliani, Small Business Council Staff Director for the Florida Chamber.  “With four out of five jobs created by small businesses, we must work to stabilize Florida’s economy with lower taxes and less regulation and ensure small businesses have the capital necessary to grow and hire.”

Despite the lack of economic certainty, 31 percent of respondents believe their business is better off today than six months ago, and 31 percent plan to hire employees during the next six months – down slightly from March 2012.

“By an overwhelming majority, Florida small businesses are worried about how government regulations, restrictions and taxes may negatively impact their ability to do business and create jobs,” Giuliani added.

Key Survey Findings:

·         Hiring – 31% of employers plan to hire employees during the next six months, down slightly from March 2012, and 41% identified economic uncertainty as an obstacle preventing them from hiring new employees, while 37% say it is lack of sales keeping them from hiring.

·         Layoffs – Only 4% plan to lay off employees, up 1% from March 2012.

·         Better Off – 31% believe their business is better off than it was six months ago, down slightly from last quarter.

·         Worse Off – 19% believe their business is worse off today than it was six months ago.

·         Economic Uncertainty: Regulations – 64% are worried or very worried that regulations, restrictions and taxes will negatively impact their ability to do business compared to 33% who are not very worried or not worried at all.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.