84 Percent of Small Businesses Say U.S. Economy is on Wrong Track

According to the Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Outlook survey, 55 percent of small-business owners say economic uncertainty is preventing them from hiring new employees.

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Overwhelming majority of small businesses say economy is on wrong track, and more than half won't hire due to economic uncertainty.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its quarterly Small Business Outlook Survey on Monday with some pretty grim results. The survey of more than 1,400 small-business owners revealed that an overwhelming 84 percent believed the U.S. economy is on the wrong track.

Nearly 50 percent of the small-business owners cited economic uncertainty as their greatest challenge, while the U.S. debt and deficit and health-care reform were close behind, at 47 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

Forty-six percent of respondents said their uncertainty for the future is driven by the federal debt and deficit.

As far as the economy, 79 percent of respondents just want Washington to "get out of the way" and 85 percent said they'd rather Washington provide more certainty than more assistance.

Fifty-five percent of respondents cited economic uncertainty as the greatest or second greatest issue that will stop them from hiring new employees, while 34 percent said a lack of sales would stall hiring efforts.

As unemployment hit 9.2 percent in June, the small-business jobs outlook doesn't seem to improve much over the next year, with 64 percent saying they will keep the same number of employees. One bright spot: Only 12 percent plan on cutting staff, down from 29 percent last year.

With just 20 percent of respondents optimistic that American's best days are ahead, small-business owners will continue to operate cautiously, with 62 percent more fearful of what Washington will do next than what they've already done.

Tags: Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook, News, small business hiring, small business regulation, small business taxes

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