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Economic Stimulus Didn’t Help Us, Most Small Business Owners Say

July 22, 2008 · 4 comments

Despite the fact that former Sen. Phil Gramm thinks that Americans are merely in a “mental recession”, a survey conducted by Suffolk University seems to imply otherwise. More than 80% of those surveyed (all small business owners from across the country with 100 employees or less) believe the country is in an actual economic recession. More than that, nearly 86%, feel that the government is doing “nothing” or “little” to help small businesses.

But what about those stimulus checks?

Almost 80% of small business owners report that the economic stimulus checks made no difference to their own business. In contrast, 72% of those surveyed believe that the government is more focused on big businesses and Wall Street than small businesses.

But come on, it can’t be all that bad… It’ll get better, right? If you think so, you’re in the minority. Only 18% of those surveyed believe that the economy will get better by the end of the year.

What do you think?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca July 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

I know that people keep saying that we are in a recession but I haven’t seen any difference in my own personal life. My standard of living has not gone down at all. The only difference that I really see is that I am paying more for gas. People who own businesses though would be able to tell if their sales were up or down.

2 Kelly July 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

Rebecca,
I know a few families that share your situation. Most of those are salaried, benefited employees at multinational companies. The pinch – beyond groceries and gas – hasn’t hit them much.
That said, as a small business owner, I can definitely tell a difference. We’re fortunate in that our business has not slowed. However, our costs are way up on everything – from business cards to heating/cooling and other office goods. Our health insurance that we provide for employees alone increased 20% this year and we expect another increase at the beginning of our next fiscal year (this is true for most benefits). Since we’re a service provider as opposed to a retailer, it’s harder to pass along those fixed costs. I can’t simply raise the cost of my services proportionately to recuperate the increased costs to me – a 20% increase midyear would be alarming to many of my clients.
I think what’s scary for many small business owners is that these increased costs are just the beginning. After a $150 increase in my cooling bill, I’ve been advised that another increase in rates is on the way. Almost every one of our vendors has tacked on a substantial “fuel surcharge” – from paper delivery to FedEx. Nearly every small business owner that I know expects those rates to keep going higher.

3 Chris July 25, 2008 at 11:48 am

I seem to remember the IRS breaking records for total tax revenues to the federal government not long ago. The tax cuts “for the rich” seem to have accounted for much of this increased tax revenue to the feds and IRS data confirms that the “rich” paid a larger portion of the overall taxes to the government in the last reporting.
The same thing seems to have happened after federal tax cuts by JFK and Reagan. In our current federal tax scheme it seems more beneficial for the feds to lower taxes to increase revenues via a more active economy. With a burdensome tax code, it is amazing what happens when americans have more of their OWN money in their pockets to work with.
At the same time, we have struggling state economies. State governments feel the need to raise taxes to meet their ever increasing budgets. It appears to me that they need to lower their taxes to spur on their respective economies.
Why is it, at a time when Americans are struggling to maintain their lifestyle, or worse, survive, that only citizens are cutting their budgets? Why can’t the massive governments in the US do with less for a while? The only explanation I have gotten from politicians is that they don’t want to run into deficit problems. While some would argue that decreasing taxes would increase deficits, it is the over spending that creates deficits. Maybe they can cut their spending like us; instead.
If the government would just get out of the way, the American people could find a way to make things better.

4 thebfs July 30, 2008 at 11:24 pm

of course the package really did not work.. after all it’s only a buck64aday if you got 600 dollars. really how is that going to work out in the long run.

in the short run of course there will be a boost as everyone spends their free money. what about december, when inflation and christmas collide?

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