The July 2012 Q2 Small Business Survey is the fifth consecutive small business survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The quarterly surveys are designed to track the small business community’s outlook on their business, the local economy, and the national economy over time. Small business owners are polled nation-wide, and respondents include U.S. Chamber members and non-members.

Quarter 2
Small Business Outlook Survey – July 2012
Key Findings
Flat Economic Growth and Uncertainty Continue to Limit Hiring

  • Eight-out-of-ten small businesses continue to think the national economy is off on the wrong track and more than half (53%) of small businesses surveyed cite economic uncertainty as their top concern.  Only 14% say the national economy is on the right track.
  • Forty-five percent of small business owners surveyed are not sure if their business’s best days are ahead of or behind them. In addition, only 34% of small business owners say the business climate over the next two years is likely to greatly or somewhat improve.
  • Small business owners’ concerns about the future are impacting their hiring.  Since March, the number of small businesses who expect to lose employees over the next year has grown from 8% to 12%.  Only one-in-five (20%) of small businesses surveyed expect to add staff in 2013.  The majority of small businesses say they are likely to keep the same number of employees over the next year – meaning there is likely to be little change in overall unemployment figures.


Health Care Continues to Be a Top Impediment to Growth

  • Following the Supreme Court’s decision on the President’s health care law, only 3% of small business owners report that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law will make them more likely to hire new employees. The vast majority said they would be less likely to hire or that their workforce would stay the same size.  When asked directly what the impact would be, 72% said that the health care law will make it harder for their business to hire.
  • Support for the law is very low among small businesses surveyed (21%), and almost eight-out-of-ten (77%) of small businesses surveyed support its repeal. 



Melissa G. Malechek, IOM
President, West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce
Office:  281-576-5440    Cell:  281-831-6382