Small-Business Optimism Up Slightly

After last month’s disappointing drop in small-business confidence, April’s Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.6 points to 92.1, just above the recovery average of 90.7. In April’s report, four Index components rose, two fell and six were unchanged. Yet pessimism abounds within the sector, as still far more of those surveyed expect business conditions to be worse in six months than those who think they will be better. State-specific data isn’t available, but small-business owners here are no more confident about the recovery than  those in other states, said the state director of NFIB/South Carolina. NFIB is South Carolina’s largest small-business association, with about 4,000 dues-paying members representing a cross section of the state’s economy. Owners were asked to identify their top business problem: 23% cited taxes, 21% cited regulations and red tape and 16% still cited weak sales. Only 2% reported financing as their top business problem. A quarterly break-out of top business problems by sector will be released next week. The report is based on the responses of 1,873 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership, surveyed throughout the month of April. Download the complete study at