Federal Overtime Rules Cause for Concern in Florida’s Small Business Community

By: Melissa Roberts

Outlook Uncertain as Businesses Face Unstable Economy

> DOWNLOAD the Florida Small Business Index Survey Quarter 2 Results

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 23, 2016) – The most recent Florida Chamber Foundation Small Business Index Survey shows 22 percent of Florida’s small businesses say government regulations are their top concern, up from 10 percent last quarter. Florida small businesses are particularly concerned with recent changes to Federal overtime regulations.

Economic uncertainty was reported as the second highest concern, with 20 percent of respondents listing it as their top obstacle in hiring new employees. The results also indicate that 27 percent of respondents expect the economy to weaken over the next year, up from 13 percent last quarter. Only 38 percent of respondents reported that their business was better off than six months ago, compared to 46 percent last quarter.

“The overall outlook is less positive than it was in the last quarter, with government regulations appearing as the top issue,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation. “Florida’s small businesses are still concerned about the economy and workforce quality, but the good news is that many small businesses are still planning to hire new employees and plan to make capital investments in the coming year.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows:

  • Top Issues Facing Small Businesses:
    Government regulations (22 percent)

    • Economic Uncertainty (20 percent),
    • Workforce Quality (18 percent),
    • Taxes (8 percent),
    • Access to Capital (7 percent),
    • Growth Management Process (7 percent),
    • 18 percent listing some other issue as their top concern.
  • Sales:
    47 percent of respondents indicated that sales were up over the past three months, down from 53 percent in last quarter’s survey.
  • Respondents:
    • 35 percent of respondents employ less than five employees,
    • 43 percent of respondents employ 5 to 49 employees,
    • 10 percent employ 50-99 employees and
    • 12 percent of respondents employ from 100-499 employees.

“Small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased government regulations,” said Debra Harvey, Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and President, Ron Jon Surf Shop. “As we work together on the Florida Chamber Small Business Council, we look forward to identifying solutions that support our business community and grow this important economic engine.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 1, 2016 through June 17, 2016. Click here to view the full report.

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