I am no economist; just a guy knee-deep in the grit, grime and glory of small business. And when I say the last year or so has been a bear, I suspect I am preaching to the choir. I discovered that, yes, there is money out there, but no one is giving it away without a good tug of war.
Still, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel … and I pray it is not a train. I am seeing clients who are starting to shift from a bunker mentality into cautious planning mode. They are hiring (or at least thinking about it), starting to spend money, even anticipating growth in 2011.
Do not get me wrong. It is still tough, but more like being hit by a mini-van rather than a semi. For example, according to the latest survey by Small Business Watch: “The percentage of small business owners rating the current economy as good or excellent was 12 percent in May, compared to 13 percent in April. The April and May ratings on the current state of the economy are the highest since June 2008. Thirty-two percent rate the economy as fair in May, while 56 percent still think it’s poor.”
Then there is get-away time, which I believe is a key indicator for SBOs. I know that when I am in a financial bind, I postpone vacations and weekends.
Well, over the last couple of years, with the economy in the toilet, a lot of other business owners did the same thing. According to a summary from that same SBW survey: “Although the recession forced more than half of small business owners to postpone or cancel their vacations during the past two years, a few more are considering some time off this year: 51 percent of small business owners said in May that the economy forced them to cancel or postpone vacations or time off, down from 58 percent last year.
So, no, it is not great news. But there are signs of hope. So, keep on working hard, try to make money, and, yes, even have fun. Good luck!
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