Florida Chamber: Hiring Concerns Grew with Fiscal Cliff Debate
Around the State
As Congress hammered out a deal over the fiscal cliff cuts, Florida businesses were on edge, the Florida Chamber of Commerce reports.
The quarterly Small Business Index Survey numbers from the chamber found that as Congress debated cuts to the federal budget made earlier in 2012, 26 percent of 679 businesses responding to the chamber questions between Dec. 3 and Dec. 21 in Florida believe they are worse off today than six months ago.
The mark is down from 35 percent in October.
Meanwhile, 21 percent of small businesses plan to stop their current hiring plans, the chamber claimed.
“Even worse, 44 percent are unsure of their hiring plans after the fiscal cliff deal did not fully extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts,” the chamber report stated.
Findings of the quarterly survey:
-- 32 percent believe their business is better off than six months ago – up 4 percent from last quarter;
-- 26 percent believe their business is worse off today than six months ago -- down 9 percent from October, 2012;
-- 29 percent of employers plan to hire employees during the next six months -- down from 31 percent in October 2012;
-- 43 percent identified lack of sales as an obstacle preventing them from hiring new employees, while 29 percent say economic uncertainty is keeping them from hiring'
-- 17 percent were able to obtain capital in the last six months -- down from 5 percent in October;
-- 83 percent were not able to get the needed financing in the past six months -- up 5 percent from October;
-- 49 percent believe it will be harder to obtain capital over the next six months compared to just 14 percent who believe it will be easier;
-- 49 percent of small-business owners expect the economy to improve over the next six months, and 60 percent expect the economy to improve over the next three years;
-- 35 percent believe the economy will weaken over the next year and 30 percent expect the economy will weaken over the next three years;
-- 53 percent expect company sales to increase over the next three months, and 66 percent expect their sales to increase over the next year -- compared to only 14 percent expecting sales to decrease over each time period.
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