More Small Business Owners in Panic Mode

By Carol Tice

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

panic-mode.jpgMany entrepreneurs have been hanging on to the knot at the end of their rope for more than two solid years, waiting for the economy to improve. Two new studies show an increasing number of them are concerned that knot's not going to hold them long enough to see a turnaround.Studies from Discover and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) show more owners think business conditions are deteriorating. In the March Discover study, 53 percent of owners believe the economic climate will get worse in the next six months, compared with 37 percent who said that just a month ago.

Over at the NFIB, their monthly Small Business Economic Trends report shows owners hitting an eight-month confidence low in March, which the NFIB described as "a very pessimistic reading." The number of owners reporting it's harder to get loans now rose to 15 percent. One ray of hope: 15 percent of those surveyed plan to hire, up a couple of points from last month. Presumably that's a different 15 percent than the ones who couldn't access capital.

The NFIB study noted that at the bottom of the prolonged 1982 recession, 47 percent of owners expected conditions to improve, while last month the net number of owners expecting improvements was -8 pecent -- 55 percent worse than at the same point in the previous downturn.

Is it really as black as all that? We'll take our own poll on Entrepreneur readers' economic outlook in the comments below. Let us know if you think the economy will improve in the next six months, stay the same or worsen.
Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Opening a New McDonald's Franchise Will Be More Expensive in 2024

Starting January 1, franchise royalty fees will rise from 4% to 5% for new locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Business News

'Bar Tab Was Almost 80%': Restaurant Slams Well-Known Columnist After He Goes Viral For Claiming His Meal Cost $78

A photo of a burger and fries from 1911 Smokehouse BBQ at Newark Airport went viral for its alleged price, but the restaurant says the man didn't factor in his many alcoholic drinks.

Money & Finance

Want to Become a Millionaire? Follow Warren Buffett's 4 Rules.

Too many entrepreneurs are counting too heavily on a company exit for their eventual 'win.' Do this instead.

Business News

Here's the Secret to Growing Your Small Business, According to Execs at UPS, Airbnb, Mastercard, and Other Big Brands

These 10 executives work at big companies, overseeing programs that help small business. Here's the advice they wish all small business owners were getting.

Business News

Is Your Relationship With Your Work at a Breaking Point? You're Not Alone, Survey Finds

In a new survey by HP, 83% of unhappy workers said they are willing to earn less to be happier at their job.

Business News

'An Absolute Prize': Rare Great Depression $10,000 Bill Sells For Nearly $500,000

The $10,000 bill is from 1934 and was never in circulation.