Florida Chamber’s Small Business Survey portrays both optimism and concern

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, released Wednesday, reveals optimism among small business owners despite ongoing concerns with economic uncertainty and government regulations impacting small business growth.

The report was released during National Small Business Week and shows rising numbers of small businesses feeling better off today than six months ago (36 percent, up from 32 percent in December 2012).  Today, 32 percent of employers plan to hire new employees during the next six months, up from 29 percent in 2012.   

Further, 42 percent of business report higher sales compared to the same period last year, 55 percent believe the economy will improve over this coming year, and 61 percent believe it will improve over the next three years.

More markedly, about 52 percent of respondents in this survey who needed financing during the pas six months report that they were able to obtain it, compared to only 17 percent who were able to do so in December 2012. 

Nevertheless, nearly 7 out of 10 small businesses are worried or very worried that regulations, restrictions and taxes will negative impact their ability to do business this year, while only 31 percent are not worried.

As reported here earlier, the U.S. census released an update on Wednesday showing that across the nation, and in Florida, fewer business are in operation this year than last year — a trend that has been in place for the past four years.  This decrease is certainly felt more dramatically among small businesses.

“This week marks National Small Business Week, yet too many Florida businesses continue to experience economic uncertainty,” said John Medina, Chair, Florida Chamber Small Business Council and President, Medina Consultants. “Given that small businesses create four out of five new jobs in Florida, it’s encouraging to see Florida job creators beginning to feel a bit more optimistic. The Florida Chamber continues its fight to help ensure a more stable and predictable business climate by securing Florida’s future through economic growth and job creation.”