Small business owners less likely to hire during holiday season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Small business owners less likely to hire during holiday season

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

How are you feeling about the economy?

A new poll shows many business owners are still nervous.

The survey shows a sharp decline in the number of small business owners in metro Atlanta who are planning to hire more workers.

Some business owners in South Georgia say they're no different as a shaky economy and political uncertainty play a role.

Restaurant owner BJ Fletcher says hiring more staff over the holiday season is unlikely to happen.

"We're battling higher fuel cost, higher food cost. We don't know what new regulations are going be on healthcare or taxes," said Fletcher.

A survey of small businesses in Atlanta shows only 18% plan to hire over the next six months.  That's down from 34% in the spring.

Fletcher says fewer people are coming to her for work as well.

"This is the first time I'm not having as many people come looking for part-time jobs. I don't know if they've given up or just been beaten down," said Fletcher.

Fletcher is not alone. We've talked to other small business owners who say they probably won't hire employees over the holiday period, especially with the presidential election around the corner and uncertainty of healthcare reform.

"Everybody that signs a check says healthcare is a big issue especially if you have a certain amount of employees and that's going to make a difference," said Fletcher.

She hopes the economy and other matters such as healthcare reform become clearer, so she can conduct her business accordingly.

"I can't push it on to consumers because they can cook for themselves or they don't have to go out," said Fletcher.

"This is the hardest time I've ever known for small business owners. Small business owners are the backbone of the community and of this country," she continued.

Fletcher says she'll stay optimistic and hopes employers will start hiring more soon.

That survey also showed 54% of small business owners believe they are worse off now than in 2007 when the economic officially began. 23% said they're better off.

 

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