If you knew you were going to get a big influx of business would you be more likely to hire people. If you had a handle on where interest rates were headed might you think about getting a loan for new equipment? If you thought the economy was going to improve would you launch a new product line?

Recently, the National Small Business Association released its NSBA Mid-Year Economic Report and it is not surprising that the number one challenge that small business owners face is economic uncertainty and most are expecting a flat economy in the next 12 months. However, if you ask them about their own business there is a very interesting twist.

According to the report, “When it comes to confidence in their own business, small business remains relatively positive, with 72 percent saying they are confident in the future of their own business. Although slightly lower than just six months ago, it is in-line with historic trends whereby small-business owners are much more confident in their own business than the overall economy.”

So why are small business owners positive? When you own a business you learn pretty quickly to deal with surprises, unexpected events and the roller coaster that is just a part of doing business. You almost become immune to bad news. Let’s face it we all think we can be better, faster and stronger than the competition. But when it comes to taxes, the cost of health care and gridlock in Washington- it’s not a pretty picture for small business.

Small business owners have a lot of demands on their time. That’s why they are concerned with the amount of time spent to comply with federal taxes. I gave up counting the hours but about half of those surveyed said they spent more than 40 hours a year. Honestly, my bet is that some of them don’t even take 40 hours of vacation time. The other issue is the cost of complying. I know many of the forms are so complicated that I can’t fill them out without an accountant’s help. So how serious is this issue? The report states, “More than half say that federal taxes have a significant to moderate impact on the day-to-day operation of their business.”

Small businesses understand the need to budget and live within their budget so it is no surprise that they want Congress and the next President to do the same and reduce the national deficit. Of course there are a variety of ways to do that. Those surveyed believe, “we should address the national deficit is to reform and reduce entitlement spending, followed by targeted cuts for certain federal agencies and program.

Those are the highlights of the report and you can read it all on the NSBA website. I love to see the results of surveys and especially this one because it gives a great historical context to the information. See if you agree with these small business owners or have a different perspective.


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