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Small-Business Execs Are ‘Content but Cautious’

Guarded Optimism PrevailsGuarded Optimism Prevails

52% described the health of small businesses as “not well, but not bad.” Yet only a small percentage said small businesses were faring poorly or very poorly.

Lackluster Feelings About GrowthLackluster Feelings About Growth

Small-business owners ranked growth in the next 12 months at 56 on a 0-to-100 scale, with contributing factors including the likelihood to increase capital spending, meet growth objectives and increase sales revenue.

Economy Not So Hot, Hot, HotEconomy Not So Hot, Hot, Hot

Falling at the low end of the scale came sentiment about the U.S. economy, which received an overall rating of 39 on a scale of 0 to 100.

Looking AheadLooking Ahead

In the coming year, six in 10 small-business owners and managers see a high likelihood their companies would grow by a significant margin. These results are similar to those of last year’s study.

Working With Current WorkforceWorking With Current Workforce

A majority of small businesses said they do not intend to increase hiring in the next 12 months. Those polled rated the likelihood of upping their headcounts at only 32 out of 100.

Life SatisfactionLife Satisfaction

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being less favorable and 100 being more favorable, small-business owners gave life satisfaction one of the highest rankings, at 71. This included factors, such as work/life balance, personal fulfillment and the ability to manage stress.

Women Positive About Work-Life BalanceWomen Positive About Work-Life Balance

Female respondents outscored their male counterparts 80 to 77 regarding their lives as small-business owners and 64 to 60 concerning work-life balance.

That Dreaded Word: TaxesThat Dreaded Word: Taxes

34% characterize their tax environment as unfavorable, while 26% describe it as neither unfavorable nor favorable and 18% indicate it is somewhat favorable. Only 4% describe their tax environment as very favorable to small business.

Health Care Costs Risky Across Multiple IndustriesHealth Care Costs Risky Across Multiple Industries

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 indicating the greatest perceived risk, health care costs received an overall score of 38, with a 42 specifically from the services industry.

Some Risks Not as PressingSome Risks Not as Pressing

Employment theft or embezzlement, patent or intellectual property issues, and lawsuits were perceived by small-business owners as less risky, receiving rankings of 78, 75 and 65, respectively.