According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entrepreneurs are creating the fewest new U.S. businesses in more than a decade.
Since March 2010, approximately 550,000 new businesses opened in the U.S. That's the weakest growth since the Bureau started tracking the data in the early 1990s, and down sharply from the record 667,000 new businesses added from March 2005 to March 2006.
For those small businesses that are up and running, optimism is waning. According to a report from the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents more than 300,000 small businesses, optimism among small business owners fell in May for the third consecutive month. The main factor of the depleting optimism could be 1 in 4 owners still reporting weak sales as their top problem.
But there was some good news for small businesses in June….
In a move intended to provide relief to mobile small businesses facing high gas prices, the IRS increased the optional standard mileage rate. The 4.5-cent increase, to 55.5 cents a mile, goes into effect on July 1 through the remainder of the year. Taxpayers use the optional standard mileage rate to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business.
The Federal Reserve capped the amount banks can charge merchants for processing debit-card payments at 21 cents, down from the current average of 44 cents. According to the Fed, banks charged retailers more than $16 billion dollars in swipe fees in 2009 on 38 billion consumer transactions.