Small business owners aren't feeling optimistic, according to a recent national survey by National Federation of Independent Business.
The monthly economic index fell in June to 93.5 points, seven points below the average before the 2009 recession, and 14 points below the peak of economic expansion. However, the score is 12 points higher than at the lowest point of the recession, the federation said.
Taxes, regulations and red tape were the top problems for business owners during the month, as 20 percent of those surveyed ranked each as their top problem. Other owners cited weak sales as their top problem, according to the survey.
Business owners in Oklahoma are wary, said Jerrod Shouse, director of the federation's Oklahoma chapter for the state. State-specific survey information was not available. Small business owners may be worried about upcoming health insurance regulations among other things, Shouse said in a statement.
“The index gave up in June,” after two months of solid gains, the federation's chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said.
Job creation, sales, positive earnings trends and frequency of capital outlays all fell during the month, the survey found.
The federation reported that two of the index components rose, while two remained the same and six fell.
Nineteen percent of business owners surveyed reported difficulty in filling some job openings, while 12 percent reported using temporary workers.
Dunkelberg also partially blamed upcoming health care regulations for setbacks.
“It certainly doesn't help that the endless stream of delays and capitulations of certain provisions of the health care law adds to the uncertainty felt by owners. Until growth returns to the small-business half of the economy, it will be hard to generate meaningful economic growth and job creation,” he said.
The monthly report is based on the responses of 663 businesses in the federation's membership.