In there's one thing that people on both sides of the aisle can agree on it's that small businesses play a critical role in job growth and economic prosperity.
For Small Firms, Election Results Dampen Optimism:
The results of the presidential election dampened the spirits of many small-business owners who now worry that forthcoming federal policies, including potentially higher taxes and health-care reform, could stunt growth and hiring at their firms.
A November survey from Vistage International Inc. and The Wall Street Journal found a significant drop in optimism compared with the months leading up to the election, as respondents anticipated a worsening economy in 2013.
The survey's overall confidence index, based on responses of 740 small-business owners, fell to 83.9 from 95.3 in October. That is the lowest in the survey's six-month history.
Specifically, the survey's index of expected economic conditions fell to 77 from 105, a result of 43% of the respondents anticipating worse U.S. conditions in the next 12 months. That is nearly twice as many as October's 23%. The index of business profits also fell to 122 from 135 as only 43% of owners anticipate higher profits in the coming year, down from 50% last month.
It's difficult to know which way the economy is going to go in 2013 as there are signs that point toward a strengthening recovery and others that indicate another recession may be in the works. File this pessimistic small business owner survey among the latter.
Cross-posted from Fraters Libertas.