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October 7, 2014

Survey: Small business owners feel good, but aren’t hiring

In its fourth annual survey of small business owners across the country, The Hartford Financial Services Group said it found that more owners feel their business is successful, but that many continue to not hire new workers.

The Hartford’s “Small Business Success Study,” conducted by Braun Research, probed the mindsets and experiences of more than 2,000 for-profit business owners with less than 100 full-time employees.

Of those owners, 77 percent said they feel successful about their business’s operation, which was up from 70 percent in 2013, and 35 percent said they feel “very successful” or “extremely successful.”

Despite those positive attitudes, 67 percent said they hadn’t hired in the past year. That was up from 64 percent last year. Even among those who felt their business was operating successfully, 57 percent said they had not added staff.

Common reasons given for the lack of hiring included not being able to afford it, lack of growth, and ownership taking on more duties.

The survey also found that more small business owners (36 percent) used personal sources of money like savings, retirement account assets and capital from friends and family in the past year than had taken bank credit lines (31 percent). Owners who are a part of the Millennial generation were more likely to tap personal savings to fund operations than their older counterparts.

Though more business owners feel informed about the Affordable Care Act, 39 percent said the law will have a mostly negative impact on their business. The most common response to the potential impact has been halting plans for future hiring.

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