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Entrepreneurs' outlook for the economy worsens

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(Read caption) Entrepreneurs are not feeling optimistic about the economy, according to a new report.

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The latest semi-annual survey American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor was released today. Overall, the mood of small business owners is not good. Fewer entrepreneurs see the economy improving with expanding opportunities for their business when compared to the findings of six months ago (18% vs. 26% last fall).

A couple of the specific findings show some modest improvements over the past six months:

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  • Nearly half of small business owners (48%) plan to make capital investments in their businesses, nearing spring 2008 levels (53%) when investment plans began their steady decline;
  • More than one-quarter have plans to hire (28%), up from the historically low twenty three percent in fall 2009;

One bright spot on the subject of sentiment is among younger entrepreneurs, 72% of whom are optimistic about their business prospects and the economy. This is consistent with other findings I have reported and with our own observations as entrepreneurship educators.

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