Some polls out this week tell us that small business owners are becoming more cautious.
The latest Intuit poll on small business employment suggests that hiring in small businesses has, once again cooled off. While there were some gains earlier this year, the modest improvement we had been seeing seems to have stalled.
More than 85% of small-business owners are worried about a double-dip recession, according to the latest quarterly survey by banking giant Citigroup Inc.
But three-quarters of those polled said they are very or somewhat prepared for another downturn.
Mirroring results of previous surveys, 76% rated current business conditions as fair or poor.
So it seems that those entrepreneurs whose businesses have survived the downturn are taking a more prudent course and preparing for more difficult economic times ahead.
Nothing coming out of Washington is helping to calm their fears. Every group of entrepreneurs I talk asks me the same basic question: "When are the politicians going to wake up and understand that all we need from government is for them to get out of our way?"
Given that they are hearing that higher taxes and more regulation are on the way, and that policy makers trying to manage the economy do not trust free enterprise and free markets, it is no wonder that they are not very optimistic about the future.
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