Small businesses optimistic but not hiring

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Small business owners are optimistic about the coming year, but they are holding the line on employees and don’t expect to hire in this first quarter.

Small business owners report growing more dissatisfied with government but, the New Year is bringing renewed optimism for their company’s success in 2013, according to a Manta survey of 1,300 small business owners.

While 78 percent of small business owners said they’re hopeful about their company’s growth for the year ahead, 65 percent said they don’t plan to add staff in the first quarter.

Nearly four in 10 small business owners polled say they are delaying hiring because of the unresolved fiscal issues and national debt debate.

Three-fourths of those surveyed said they disapprove of the job that Congress and the president are doing in regard to managing the recent budgetary issues. And, they said, it’s having a direct impact on small business decisions and growth.

In addition to delaying hiring, 14 percent of small business owners said they won’t be increasing salaries or giving out bonuses, and 13 percent are eliminating all discretionary spending.

“The New Year has a new level of uncertainty for all businesses, but I’m not surprised that despite these concerns, small business owners, in particular, still have an optimistic view for what’s ahead in 2013,” said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. “It is inherent for small business owners to have a can-do attitude, even in the toughest of times.”

Meanwhile, small business owners are working more and sleeping less. Nearly half of those polled say they worked more than 50 hours every week, up more than 20 percent from 2011; and, 37 percent said they averaged less than six hours of sleep every night.