Florida Chamber survey: State’s recovery outpaces the nation’s, but small businesses still feeling pressure

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For the second consecutive quarter, the Florida Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Small Business Index Survey shows access to capital as the single most important issue facing business owners.  This report, conducted electronically between September 9 through September 28, 2013, was released today at the Chamber’s Future of Florida Forum. 

The survey found that a plurality of 31 percent of respondents are most concerned with access to capital, an increase of six percent from last quarter.

In sum, 41 percent said that they were not able to obtain needed financing in the past six months, and 46 percent said they expect financing to be more difficult to obtain in the near future.

About 37 percent of small businesses feel better off today than six months ago, a decrease from 42 percent in July of 2013; and 28 percent of employers plan to hire employees during the next six months, up one percentage point from last July.

The number one barrier to hiring is the lack of sales (39%), followed by economic uncertainty (23%).

While only 36 percent report higher sales compared to the same period last year, a majority (56%) believe the economy will improve over the next year and 65 percent feel it will improve over the next three years.

“While Florida’s economy is moving in the right direction, small businesses continue to feel pressure from tight credit markets,” said Todd Kocourek, member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council.