Despite projecting profit gains and sales growth, 81 percent of respondents in a survey of 1,001 small- to medium-sized businesses don’t plan to hire within the next six months.
“Small business owners are being extremely cautious due to the uncertainty of what might happen in the future,” said Steve Odland, CEO of Office Depot, which released the findings this week.
More than half of the small businesses surveyed predicted an increase in profits and total sales by the end of February 2011.
“While we are seeing that small businesses are somewhat optimistic about their sales prospects, they are still not feeling comfortable enough to begin spending and hiring at previous levels,” Odland said in a statement.
Almost two-thirds of respondents foresee their interest rates increasing, and 78 percent anticipate difficulties in securing banks loans.
The survey, conducted between August 30 to September 3, cites these concerns as primary reasons for the reluctance in hiring:
- Lofty healthcare costs: 18 percent
- Future tax fears: 15 percent
- Lack of available credit: 14 percent
- Continued economic uncertainty: 14 percent.
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@TechMediaNetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and become his friend on Facebook (BAH Journalist) to interact or stay updated on news about small businesses.