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To small business owners, it's a recession

Based on how their businesses are performing, more than one-third of small business owners believe we are still in recession

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Cautious about the economy, small business owners are holding off growing their enterprises in increasing numbers

Consumer confidence continues to languish, which is leading economists to: 1) worry about a double dip recession, 2) worry about a new recession, 3) or finally agree with most of us that we are still in a recession.

Cautious customers are not spending their money. This is leading many small business owners to continue to see their businesses go nowhere, fast.

Based on how their businesses are performing, more than one-third of small business owners (38%) believe we are still in recession, according to the just-released American Express OPENĀ® Small Business Monitor.

Economic sluggishness is impacting the psyche of entrepreneurs: 27 percent say they do not plan to grow in the next six months (up from 21% in the spring) and just 77 percent describe themselves as glass-half-full optimists (down from 85% a year ago). I have heard a few even begin to exclaim, "What glass!!!???"

The survey did find a few signs that those who have survived are getting ready for continued difficult times. Cash flow is more under control: 55% have concerns, down from 66% in the spring.

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