Online payroll provider SurePayroll Inc. has found the government shutdown had a significant impact on businesses with 10 or less employees, causing them to rethink expectations for the future and question their leaders.
The company’s October 2013 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard indicated that 90 percent of businesses with 10 or less employees felt their concerns are not being heard on Capitol Hill. Two-thirds said they would not reelect their Congressman or woman if the election were held today.
"Post-shutdown, there are positive economic indicators like a soaring stock market and some spectacular valuations for tech companies - masking an ugly reality for the majority of small businesses with 10 or less employees," said SurePayroll CEO and president Michael Alter in a statement. "Main Street continues to suffer the blows of uncertainty. The dry cleaner on the corner and the local insurance agent are paying a heavy price. They're not feeling any support from the government and expectations continue to drop."
Prior to the government shutdown, 42 percent of small business owners expected to surpass their third-quarter results in the fourth quarter, according to the monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. After the shutdown, however, that number dropped to only 27 percent. Only 38 percent plan to make new investments in their businesses in the fourth quarter, down from 45 percent prior to the shutdown and 54 percent in June.
Roughly half of small business owners cited health care costs, tax credits and a long-term solution to the debt ceiling as lingering concerns going forward.
Optimism stayed relatively flat at 62 percent in October, after being as high as 72 percent in August. Month-over-month hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was flat.
Year over year, nationwide hiring is down 1.7 percent and paychecks are up 0.1 percent. Year over year, the South is the only region where hiring is up at 1.0 percent and paychecks there are up 1.0 percent. The West shows a hiring decline of 2.2 percent, with paychecks down 0.8 percent. Hiring in the Midwest is down 3.1 percent and paychecks are positive, up 1.5 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 4.1 percent and paychecks are down 1.7 percent.