Climate in Pennsylvania for Small-Business Owners Continues to Decline

While the national economy improves, small businesses in PA are not very optimistic about the future, says the National Federation of Independent Business. See the NFIB poll of small businesses in PA here.

Why would we be surprised that small business owners are not very hopeful in PA?

Gov. Rendell and the Republican leadership in the General Assembly imposed an near 10% increase in income taxes on small business owners (and all individual workers) in 2004. That was just one of many economic roadblocks thrown in front of PA’s most important job creators over the years.

Kevin Shivers, state director of NFIB/PA, notes that 98 percent of all Pennsylvania businesses employ fewer than 100 workers, and that these businesses account for 52 percent of all jobs in the state. These businesses are the backbone of our economy. Yet economic policy in Harrisburg continues to increase the burden on these critically important job creators.

So, we shouldn’t be surprised that small business owners remain pessimistic about PA’s business climate. But we better start wondering how long these job creators will continue to labor in one of the nation’s most hostile business environments.