Owners of very small U.S. businesses seem to be less optimistic this year than they were in 2002, according to the National Association for the Self-Employed, Washington.
Researchers hired by the group used the Internet to survey more than 500 NASE members in May. The survey participants were U.S. residents who own businesses with fewer than 10 employees. The NASE notes that the United States is home to at least 16 million businesses in that size range.
Only 31% of the survey participants said they were optimistic or very optimistic about conditions for their businesses, down from 49% in March 2002.
Mixed feelings surfaced when researchers asked NASE members about the Bush administrations moves to cut taxes.
Although one-third of the survey participants agreed that the proposed tax cuts would help get the economy going, 38% disagreed.
Forty-six percent of the participants supported cuts in stock dividend taxes, but 45% opposed the dividend tax cuts.