7-in-10 Blame Economy for Hiring Freeze

Small businesses also see U.S. on verge of second recession.

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The Obama economy is so bad that 77 percent of small business owners do not plan to hire any more workers despite all of Washington's hype that the business climate is getting better. Worse: 64 percent of small business owners in a new survey provided to Whispers see the nation teetering on the verge of another recession.

Most shocking of all in the survey of small and medium sized business owners is that many would like to hire more workers but can't, and new financing rules imposed by hurting banks have made getting loans sharply more difficult than in the past. [Read: What Obama Can and Can't Do to Create Jobs.]

"Despite positive job numbers for the month of October, it is clear that business owners have a differing view of the economy," said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of Small Business Accounting Solutions, a division of Sage North America. Sage, a business management software supplier, conducted the survey among its 3.2 million customers. [See the 10 best cities to occupy.]

"The Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery survey found that 64 percent of business owners who participated in the survey believe that we are either already in a recession or are headed for one in the next six months," said Certusi. "Not surprisingly, 65 percent of respondents in the Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery said that the negative economy has had an impact on their own business." And, "The most telling statistic," she added, "is that 48 percent of business owners would like to hire additional employees but cannot due to issues related to the bad economy."

[Read about the president's proposed student loan rules.]

The survey will provide fodder to those in Washington worried most about the economic impact on small businesses, the sector Democrats and Republicans agree is key to creating jobs.

Sage broke its survey down by the numbers of employees businesses have. Below is the average response of all of those small businesses surveyed.

Key findings of the Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery:

• 64 percent of respondents believe that the U.S. is either in or is headed toward another recession.

• 65 percent of business owners believe the economy has had a negative impact on their business for the last six months; 45 percent believe the economy will have a negative impact on their business during the next six months.

• 45 percent of business owners don't feel the economy has an impact on the number of employees they have.

• 77 percent of business owners think they will maintain the number of employees they have; 7 percent believe they will increase their employee count over the next six months and 8 percent believe that they will decrease their employee count over the next six months.

• 48 percent of business owners would like to hire but can't because of various reasons including economic uncertainty (65 percent), lack of revenue (59 percent).

• 77 percent of small business owners have sought access to financing this year; 67 percent found it more difficult to obtain financing than in the past; 61 percent were able to obtain the financing they were looking for.

• When asked about the effect the U.S. debt downgrade would have, 31 percent responded negative, 41 percent said no effect, and 27 responded don't know.

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