Fourth Quarter 2013
Government Shutdown and Impacts on Small Business
From October 1 to October 16, 2013, the U.S. Federal Government entered a shutdown, restricting most routine operations. According to press, the operations that directly impacted entrepreneurs and small business owners were payments to government contractors, SBA funding and loan processing and slowdown in sales to businesses that directly deal with employees or tourism for national parks and monuments.
In November, we asked our panelists what impact the government shutdown had on their business. Two-thirds of respondents reported no impact, mostly (81%) because they neither dealt directly with government contracts, nor did they need a government backed (Small Business Administration) business loan.
Approximately half of respondents that reported the shutdown did impact their business said it was due to a lack of consumer confidence, “people were scared to spend money/buy things.” Additionally, one-fourth of respondents that reported the shutdown impacted their business said it did so because of delays in payments to contractors.
Panelist Expectations and Outlooks
Several times each year KCSourceLink and MOSourceLink invite small business owners to share their opinions and expectations around small business issues. This quarter we compare survey results to the fourth quarter of 2012.
All in all, panelists have a more neutral outlook on business operations fourth quarter 2013 when compared to fourth quarter 2012. Following the neutral trend, there was a 9% increase in respondents that feel this year will be better for business than last year and a 5% increase in respondents that feel next year will not be better for business than this year.