Gallup: 30% of small-business owners fear closing in 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Michael F. Haverluck (

With small-business owners having so many fears about the negative direction of the country under the new policies enforced by the White House, researchers at Gallup are fearful that America's future will only get worse.

Gallup PollThe latest Gallup Poll indicates that many American small-business owners are anything but optimistic when it comes to the way the Obama administration is leading the nation. In fact, they're downright fearful.

According to the recently released Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, when small-business owners in the United States were asked why they weren't hiring new employees, a striking 61 percent said that it is because they are "worried about the potential cost of healthcare." This analysis indicates that a good majority of Americans are not sold on ObamaCare and fear the toll that it will take not only on businesses, but on the economy as a whole -- as it is implemented across the nation.

Another dismal outlook for 2013 came from a different response business owners gave when asked about reasons behind their hiring freeze.

"At the bottom of the list, but still at a surprisingly high level, 30 percent of owners say they are not hiring because they are worried they may no longer be in business in 12 months," Gallup reports. "This is up from 24 percent who had the same worry in January 2012."

When asked the same question about why they haven't hired, an exceedingly high 66 percent of the 601 small business owners interviewed by Gallup expressed that they were "worried about the current state of the U.S. economy."

The long arm of the government is yet another real fear that small-business owners have across the nation.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed expressed that they were "worried about new government regulations" and how such interference could jeopardize the livelihood of their businesses.

These fear factors paint a sobering picture of what Americans can expect for 2013.

A downward spiral

Even though the Dow Jones industrial average has been up of late, other tangible gauges of the economy show that things in the business sector are down.

downward trendOnly 12 percent of small-business owners indicated that they had increased their company's hiring over the past 12 months. This corroborates the still high unemployment rate, which has stagnated around 8 percent for some time, rising to 7.9 percent in January.

"Small-business owners' self-reported net hiring suggests less overall hiring activity and essentially no improvement in small business job growth over the past two years," Gallup maintains. "Owners reported less hiring as well as less firing in January."

Refuting President Barack Obama's claim that America's economy continues to move forward, Gallup statistics show that things in the business sector are still shifted in reverse.

"The lack of improvement in small-business-owner self-reported net hiring over the past 12 months is consistent with January's lack of year-over-year improvement in Gallup's Payroll to Population employment rate," asserts Gallup's latest business report. "Small businesses continue to hire fewer employees than they are letting go, while overall full-time U.S. employment is, at best, keeping up with the growth of the U.S. population. The lack of improvement in small-business hiring is also consistent with the estimated -0.1 percent annualized growth rate for fourth quarter GDP."

profiles in front of U.S. flagIn fact, with small-business owners having so many fears about the negative direction of the country under the new policies enforced by the White House, researchers at Gallup are also fearful that America's future will only get worse.

"Finally, the fact that so many owners say worries about such things as potential healthcare costs and potential new government regulations are holding back hiring is troublesome for the job market outlook," the Omaha, Neb.-based polling organization contends. "Still, probably the most worrisome response is that 30 percent of small business owners fear they may not be in business 12 months from now."

The George Gallup-founded group warns Americans to brace for harder times ahead.

"This is a bad sign not only for small-business hiring and capital investment, but also for the overall U.S. economy in 2013," the Gallup report concludes.

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