Small Business Index Survey Finds Economic Uncertainty Top Issue Facing Florida’s Small Businesses
Thank you to those that participated in the Quarter 3 Small Business Index survey from the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council.
In our effort to secure Florida’s future, it is critical that the Florida Chamber of Commerce understands what issues are most important to small businesses. The purpose of the Small Business Index survey is to track trends and issues affecting small businesses in Florida that may be addressed by the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council.
What You Told Us
Economic uncertainty and access to capital continue to be the overwhelming top two issues facing Florida’s small businesses. Nearly 60% of respondents identified either economic uncertainty (33%) or access to capital (26%) as their top issue. The majority of respondents – 64%– are somewhat worried or very worried that regulations, restrictions and taxes will negatively impact their ability to do business compared to 33% who are not very worried or not at all worried.
Highlights of the results include hiring expectations and overall business health:
- 31% of employers plan to hire employees during the next six months, while only 4% plan to lay off employees.
- 41% percent of respondents identified economic uncertainty as an obstacle preventing them from hiring new employees, while 37% say it is lack of sales keeping them from hiring.
- 31% of respondents believe their business is better off than it was six months ago, up from 27% in July 2011. Comparatively, 19% believe their business is worse off today than it was six months ago.
To learn more about the obstacles and issues facing small businesses in Florida, click here for the full report.
The survey was conducted June 4-22, 2012 and received 807 unique responses. The electronic survey was e-mailed to small businesses in Florida, distributed by local chambers of commerce, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and posted on social media.
State Small Business Credit Initiative Update
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity invites you to participate in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which was created through the State Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 – a bill supported by the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council. Florida was allocated $97.5 million in SSBCI program funds, and is expected to generate up to $975 million in lending to Florida’s small businesses. SSBCI strengthens state programs that enhance private lending to small businesses. To learn more about the SSBCI program, and the support it has received from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, please click here.
A recent local example of how the SSBCI is helping Florida small businesses is a restaurant in Gainesville that had problems obtaining the financing necessary to expand their business. Because of SSBCI, the restaurant is under construction now because of a construction/build out loan executed through a local 504 lender.
The Fiscal Cliff
As you know by now, we are approaching a fiscal cliff in 2013 and unless Congress extends the current expiring tax provisions, taxpayers will be faced with a tax increase of $500 billion. According to a rent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this will lead to an estimated 2 million additional job losses in 2013, GDP growth slowing to a dismal .5%, and another recession.
Please use this opportunity to give us your story on how the expiring tax provisions will impact your ability to grow your business and create jobs in Florida.
Some of the Expiring Provisions:
- Increase in the marginal income tax rates
- Increase in the Estate Tax
- Increase in capital gains rates
- Expiration in the 50% bonus depreciation deduction
- Increase in the number of taxpayers subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax
- The elimination of the R&E Tax Credit for 2012
- The elimination of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit
To learn more about this dangerous fiscal cliff, click here.
The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council is comprised of small business members united to be the voice of small businesses in securing Florida’s future. Participants meet with legislators, contact media and come to Tallahassee to testify before the state House and Senate on issues important to small businesses. If you are interested in adding your voice to the Chamber’s Small Business Council, click here to join, or sign up for our distribution list for us to keep you informed and allow you to contribute by participating in regular surveys pertaining to small business in Florida.
P.S. Please click here to learn more about the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan – a program providing immediate financial help to small businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Debby.