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BUSINESS
March 12, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Small business owners were more optimistic about their prospects in February, but their overall confidence in the economy remained low, according to a leading private barometer. The Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose to 90.8 in February, up 1.9 points from the previous month. Although the increase was positive, the group noted that reading was similar to the average from 2008, as the Great Recession was taking hold.
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BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The job outlook at America's small businesses is the worst it's ever been, according to new research. Last month, 21% of small business owners said they expected to lower head count over the next six months - the highest percentage recorded by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index since its launch in 2003. In July, the last time the data was compiled, just 10% of bosses said they planned to shrink employee ranks. More than six in 10 owners said they would keep their workforce steady, while 17% said they intended to boost hiring.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
American small business owners are in a sour mood, with optimism at one of its lowest levels since 1986, but don't blame Superstorm Sandy. It's the fiscal cliff's fault, according to a new report from the National Federation of Independent Business. The threat of major spending cuts and tax hikes in the new year has caused a forward-looking gauge of Main Street sentiment to plummet. The election and the looming implementation of President Obama's health coverage overhaul is also weighing on small business owners, according to the report.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
California's insurance commissioner said an 11% rate increase for small businesses by Anthem Blue Cross is "unreasonable" because the company overstated its costs and improperly added fees related to the federal healthcare law. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones also said Anthem, a unit of industry giant WellPoint Inc., was reaping excessive profits in California. But under state law the commissioner has no authority to block the rate increase from taking effect this month. "This is a huge loophole in California law and in the federal Affordable Care Act," Jones said.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
More than half of small businesses are in favor of requiring all employers to comply with some kind of E-Verify system, even though a majority of them don't use it or have never heard of it, according to a national survey. The National Small Business Assn. interviewed nearly 300 businesses for its 2013 Workforce and Immigration Survey . It found that 17% employ immigrant workers and that 46% depend on workers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
BUSINESS
July 7, 2012 | By Ryan Faughnder and Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Behind the weak job growth numbers and the uncertainty about the economic recovery, small-business owners see shrinking consumer confidence sapping demand for their products and services. Many small firms say they are barely staying afloat and won't hire until they see signs of more stability in the marketplace. That sentiment doesn't bode well for efforts to push the economy forward. Small business, the conventional engine of job growth, has been particularly active in the last two years in driving the recovery from the Great Recession.
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