By: Scott Hauge, President of Small Business California

Small Business California has just completed its eighth annual survey of California small businesses. There were 1,067 responses collected with at least one response from every county in the state. The results showed that small businesses overall were pessimistic about the future, but less so than in the past two years. 61% said California was going in the wrong direction and 21% said that they may not be in business in three years. Compared to 2011 responses, 71% said that the state was going in the wrong direction and a similar 21% said that they may go out of business.

The survey showed 46% of the respondents saw a decrease in revenues over the last 12 months and 26% saw an increase in revenues. Respondents also reported a 28% decrease in employment, while 14% reported an increase. The good news was that 31% of the respondents plan to hire in the next six months, and 41% thought that the business climate for small business would get better over the next few years. On the other hand, 38% predicted that it might get worst.

The issues that were addressed in the survey in order of priority were:

1. The economy

2. The availability and rising cost of health care

3. The quality of public education

4. Over-regulation

5. Repairing and enhancing state infrastructure

6. Access to capital

7. Taxation

8. Energy costs

An alarming result that came from the survey was 77% of respondents stated that they were unaware of the small business tax credit in the Obama health care bill. This was coupled with a 75% who also stated that they did not know about the Exchange.

The most depressing result showed 65% have never contacted their state, senator, assemblymember or the governor to address their issues. For the complete results of the Small Business Survey, please go to our website:

Scott Hauge is the President of Small Business California and contributed this guest blog to share his organization’s survey results.