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Small Business Owners Optimistic, But Future Prospects Mixed

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/9/2011

MerchantCircle Index reveals optimism and some anxiety among small business owners.

The newest MerchantCircle Merchant Confidence Index, released today, offers some heartening news for small businesses.

Mixed Economic Forecast

Of the 4,942 local business owners who responded to the survey, 57 percent anticipate that revenues will “improve” or “slightly improve” during the summer. This level of optimism explains the current, healthy overall MCI score of 63.2.

However, this score is down slightly from the last report. And though a full 90 percent of small business owners reported they will maintain current levels of employment or add jobs over the next three months, this is also down from 92 percent in the last index.

The vice-president of marketing for MerchantCircle, Darren Waddell, attributes the current level of optimism to holdover from a strong holiday sales season. But he notes that small business owners are worried about potential backsliding in the economy.

A Rasmussen survey released earlier this week suggests small business owners are right to be cautious. Fifty-six percent of consumers polled by Rasmussen said they expect that the economy to get worse.

This week’s ForecastIQ report also clouds the horizon for small business owners. Due mainly to expectations of rising gas prices, consumers indicated they plan to cut back spending on food and clothes.

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