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Executives see few rays of sun

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  • | 3:46 p.m. October 20, 2011
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Florida small business owners are a grouchy and grumpy bunch.

At least that's so when compared with peers in the Southeast and the rest of the country, according to the American Express Open Small Business Monitor. In fact, Florida survey respondents have a more pessimistic view than others in seven recession recovery areas.

For starters, 32% of the respondents have a positive outlook on the economy and business prospects over the next six months, while 46% in the Southeast are positive and 48% nationwide are positive. Results are similar for respondents who say their business has capital investment plans: Nearly half — 46% in the Southeast, 48% nationwide — answer that question in the affirmative, while only 26% in Florida do.

The semi-annual survey was conducted last spring, through phone interviews with companies that have fewer than 100 employees.

Other survey tidbits:

• A solid majority of Florida respondents, 77%, see “the glass as half-full,” yet 73% are stressed out by the economy, 59% claim to have cash flow issues and 40% believe the recession isn't over;

• Fewer than four out of 10 Florida business owners who responded to the survey, 39%, pay themselves a salary;

• The percentage of small business owners who project their business will grow over the next six months, 76%, is down from last fall, when 87% projected growth;

• Fewer than three out of 10 businesses, 26%, plan to hire more employees within the next six months, down from 35% that projected hires last fall.



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