More than half of all small-business owners anticipate unfavorable conditions in the next six months, and their confidence in the economy in general fell for the third straight month, according to a new survey conducted by the financial services company Discover.
“There’s growing concern that the economy is stuck in neutral or even sliding, and small-business owners definitely reflected that sentiment this month,” Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business card division, said in a statement. “With the economy seemingly unable to show sustained growth, and small businesses not expanding to create jobs, it’s no wonder that confidence is down.”
The Discover Small Business Watch index fell again in August, with 62 percent of owners saying the economy is getting worse and a record 55 percent saying business conditions are likely to remain sour for six months.
Only about one in five respondents said they expect the government’s financial reform efforts to have a significant impact on their business, and far fewer thought that impact would be positive. Of the 22 percent who said the reform efforts would have a significant impact, 79 percent of them said the impact will be negative.
Furthermore, 55 percent of respondents said financial reform will make it more difficult to get bank financing .
These figures come on the heels of July’s report, in which, in answer to a separate question, 75 percent of respondents said they expect a second recession before the country sees a full recovery.