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Entrepreneurial Confidence Rises Slightly

confidence-raise.jpgThe latest Discover Small Business Watch of entrepreneurs reports that economic confidence among the Main Street business class has risen slightly in June, with its index rising to 80.9 from 78.1 last month.

The main culprit for the increase is cash flow, according to the data. The number of business owners who said they experienced temporary cash flow problems decreased from nearly half last month to 42 percent in June.

"Cash flow problems are back to levels that are more in line with what we've typically seen since the Watch began nearly three years ago," states Ryan Scully, director of Discover's business credit card.  "Cash flow concerns usually erode confidence because they represent something tangible to a business owner, more so than an expectation or perception about the economy."

Additionally, 26 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed said they believe economic conditions are improving -- a number that's up from 23 percent in May.

Interestingly, while much entrepreneurial news has focused on the plight of laid-off workers who want to become startup owners, the survey points to an opposite trend: An increasing number of small business proprietors who want to rejoin the workaday world as employees.

"The economy clearly seems to be taking its toll on the independent spirit of small business owners," Scully states. "This year 36 percent told us they are willing to walk away from their own business to earn more money working for someone else - a jump from 30 percent last year. They are spending much more time this year trying to find new business and deal with government regulations."

Discover this month also asked entrepreneurs about health care reform. It found that 78 percent of the business owners it surveys don't offer health care insurance. Of that number, 48 percent oppose government-run health care; of those who do offer plans, 62 percent opposed government-mandated insurance.

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