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Uncertainty abounds prior to Election Day

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  • | 6:27 a.m. October 26, 2012
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Pre-Election Day surveys that find high uncertainty levels among small business owners have become as common as Florida summer sun showers.

One of the latest surveys to pick up the theme is the American Express 2012 Fall Small Business Monitor. That report, a nationwide poll, finds small business owners' top priority is to maintain current revenues, rather than make growth plans. Respondents with plans to hire more employees, furthermore, have dropped to 29%, from 35% in the spring survey.

“In many ways,” American Express OPEN President Susan Sobbott says in a release, “our research on small business sentiment mirrors economic indicators on the consumer front — confidence and optimism gauges are showing positive signs, but there is a sense that people are not willing to go all-in until after the elections.”

Still, the Florida breakdown of the survey is somewhat scattered, with a wide mix of views. For instance, 82% of Floridian respondents plan to grow their business over the next six months, up from 77% in the spring survey. But nearly two-thirds from Florida, 65%, say the economy stresses them out, up from 55% in the spring.

Another interesting nugget: More than half the statewide respondents, 61%, pay themselves a salary, though the average annual wage is down, from $68,100 last year to $62,100 this year. Nonetheless, the amount of small business owners who pay themselves any salary at all spiked significantly, from 39% last year to the 61% figure this year.


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