Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small U.S. Business Owners End 2009 Downbeat? Things Seem Better to Me

The National Federation of Independent Business recently issued its small business optimism index, which fell for the second straight month, dropping 0.3 point to 88.0 in December. According to the report, the reason for the dip is that small businesses were hurt by weak sales and worries about government policies.

According to a statement from the federation’s chief economist, William Dunkelberg, "Continued weak sales and threatening domestic policies from Washington have left small business owners with little to be optimistic about in the coming year.”

What is interesting about this news it runs counter to what I am seeing in the marketplace: SMB owners are starting to feel optimistic. 2009 was, without a doubt a tough year for the entire U.S. business sector, but things are looking up.

This week, the Federal Reserve Board issued a report saying that economic activity has been picking up in recent months in New England. The report also stated that things were getting better in Texas. And, retailers reported that holiday sales were up from last year.

These are all signs that things are getting better. My gut is telling me that that National Federation of Independent Business report results were influenced by a general fear that many SMB owners had in Q4 2009. Don’t worry the fear will subside and better times are ahead (saying this cautiously, of course!).

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