These are tough times for small businesses. Recent surveys show owners think the chances are small for big profits anytime soon.
For the second month in a row, a key index shows small businesses are losing confidence in the economy.
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In July, the optimism index dropped to 88-point-one, the lowest level in four months -- a reading the group says is typical of a weak economy mired in a recession.
In a statement, William Dunkelberg, chief economist with the National Federation of Independent Business, writes "The small business sector is not on a sustained positive trajectory, and with this half of the private sector missing in action, the economy's poor growth performance is not surprising."
And the July Discover Small Business Watch survey paints a similar, gloomy picture.
The survey says 75% of business owners say -- it is likely or highly likely -- the economy will slip into another recession before fully recovering.
The survey also says 58% rate the economy as poor... while only seven-percent say it's excellent or even good.
These are troubling numbers, especially considering where small businesses have been.
The Quarterly Economic Pulse Survey by Barlow Research says small businesses have lost about 2.4 - trillion dollars in profits since the recession began in December of 2007.
And here in Washington, government officials are also forecasting a slower recovery from this recession than once thought.