Small Business Optimism Plunges 15% In September

The latest survey from SurePayroll finds a sharp drop in optimism among small business owners in September compared to August. Many owners, including those in Houston, are putting the brakes on hiring.

SurePayroll’s latest monthly scorecard found optimism among small business owners is 45%, down from 60% in August. Michael Alter is SurePayroll’s president and CEO.

“And when you’re concerned about the future, you’re going to freeze, you’re not going to hire, and you might not even replace those folks that leave.”

Alter says the main reason for falling optimism is concern about the outcome of the presidential election. Nearly two-thirds of those owners surveyed favor Republican candidate Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama.

Nationwide, small business hiring was down 0.2% from August, while the average paycheck was flat. The situation was marginally better in Houston, where hiring rose 0.2% and paycheck sizes fell nearly 1.5%.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...