While a majority of small businesses say the U.S. is now in a recession, only 14% say it is a serious recession. A significant percentage of those that think the U.S. is in a recession (53%) expect it to last longer than one year. The small-business community remains more positive than the general public, with only 23% suggesting that the economy is very poor, compared with 40% of the general public.
Small businesses with fewer than five employees appear to have been hit hardest, with 30% of respondents in that segment calling the economic situation very poor. Specific sectors of the small-business community are also feeling the pinch, in particular manufacturing, construction, transportation and communication. Retailers and wholesalers have the most positive outlook, with 45% of respondents indicating that the economy is in good shape.
The survey of 250 small businesses was conducted by Opinion Research’s recently launched Small Business CARAVAN online panel, comprised of companies with 99 or fewer employees.