Chamber Survey Shows Small Business Concern Over Hiring
Apr 16, 2012 -
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today issued the following statement on the Chamber of Commerce 2012 Q1 Small Business Survey. The quarterly surveys are designed to track the small business community’s outlook on their business, the local economy, and the national economy over time.
“This report shows that small businesses are not comfortable enough to hire, and it even shows a slight increase in the number of small businesses who have lost employees in the last year. The survey shows that pessimism about government over-regulation is at an all-time high, with 42 percent of small businesses citing it as a major concern and 52 percent citing regulations as the top threat to their business. If this doesn’t get the President’s attention, I don’t know what will.
“As Chairman of the Small Business Committee, I hear from small businesses every week about the burdens that are preventing them from growing and hiring. Last month’s poor unemployment report, coupled with surveys like this, should serve as yet another reminder to Washington that we still have work to do to help provide an environment for a strong recovery. We must address the policies that have led to an unemployment rate above 8 percent for 38 months, a national debt that is out of control, and rising gas prices.
“In order to help our small firms, we must provide more stability and relief on issues like taxes, regulations, energy costs, and government spending. The House will vote on a bill this week that will provide necessary tax relief for America’s small firms. The bill is simple, fair, and gives small businesses access to sorely needed capital to grow. It is legislation like this that small businesses need; I encourage the President and the Senate to join us in providing relief o our most robust job creators.”
Highlights of The First Quarter Chamber of Commerce Optimism Index Report:
The Small Business Outlook is Improving but Hasn’t Impacted Hiring Trends.
- While small business confidence is increasing, with a 7% increase in the confidence of the economy since January, hiring has remained stagnant. Q1 saw a slight increase in the number of small businesses who have lost employees in the last year (30%). Nearly half of small business respondents (49%) have kept the same number of staff, and only 20% have hired in the last year.
- Concerns about over-regulation are the highest we’ve seen in the past year, with 42% of small businesses citing it as a major concern and 52% citing regulations as the top threat to their business, increasing 9 percentage points since last June.
Rising Energy Prices are a Growing Threat to Small Businesses
- There are real concerns about rising energy prices—and no sense that the administration is doing much about it. The perceived threat of gas prices on small businesses has more than doubled, from 10% of respondents citing it as a top concern in January to 24% in March.
- Seventy eight percent think the Obama Administration has not done enough to keep prices low, increase domestic sources of energy, or support American job creation. In Congress, only 2% of Democrats are trusted to address domestic energy production.
Small Businesses Believe They Should Lead Recovery
- The large majority of small businesses (92%) think the business community should lead the American Recovery, compared to 8% who think the federal government has the best solutions.
- The vast majority of small businesses still are looking for the government to get out of the way (81%) and for more certainty opposed to government assistance.