Before I forget, I want to make sure and get the word out.
On Tuesday of this week I traveled to a small town 60 miles away to participate in a day of small business continuing education. I taught a class on cash flow and finance. The business owners who attended were not bashful about discussing their problems. Getting good help at an affordable cost, shrinking margins, increased state franchise taxes, the cost of transportation, gasoline, medical expenses, and finding new, creative ways to attract business were all some of the concerns voiced.
One small business owner of a retail business for the past 15 years said things in their upper middle class small town main street where the worst she had seen. Her community is a tourist destination during the summer and a retirement area for many on fixed incomes. She poised the question, “what will happen if the price of gasoline goes to $5 or $6 a gallon?” I didn’t have an answer for her, but it is a very sobering thought and real possibility. How many small businesses will have to close their doors because of the very real recession they are experiencing on Main Street USA.
According to a recent Wells Fargo / Gallup Poll survey, small business owners are curtailing spending and reducing savings:
Small business owners are saving and spending less, as consumer goods and fuel costs top records levels, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey.
More than one-third of the 600 surveyed said their personal financial situation as a whole is getting worse. Seventy-five percent of respondents had concerns about paying for gas, and 51 percent worried they will not have enough money for the next 12 months to cover regular medical and dental expenses. Forty-six percent feared they will not have enough money to pay for unforeseen medical emergencies.
Among other findings:
<!–[if !supportLists]–>? * Half of the business owners surveyed say they’ve postponed a major purchase in the past three months.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>? * <!–[endif]–>Nearly as many, 44 percent, say they’ve reduced the amount of money deposited into savings, checking or a CD.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>? * <!–[endif]–>Thirty-one percent say they have reduced their contribution to a retirement account.
Another Gallup Poll shows that confidence in banking institutions is at a 30 year low. Slightly ahead of confidence in the presidency!
What does that say about banks? Notice that Americans lost the most confidence in banks during the last year of all
Sam Thacker is a partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions.
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