January 22, 2013 09:00 ET

Small Businesses Veto Government's Management of Fiscal Crisis, Hiring Delayed as Result of Uncertainty

Manta Q4 SMB Wellness Index Shows Economy Putting Stress on SMBs... and Their Waistlines

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Jan 22, 2013) - While small business owners report growing more dissatisfied with government, the New Year is bringing renewed optimism for their company's success in 2013 -- a new Manta survey of more than 1,300 small business owners shows a majority (78 percent) say they're hopeful about their company's growth for the year ahead. Likewise, most are predicting success for the first quarter of the year. That said, 82 percent did not make any new hires from October through December of 2012 and more than half (65 percent) don't plan to add staff in Q1 either. Nearly four in 10 polled say they are delaying hiring because of the unresolved fiscal cliff and debt ceiling issue in Washington. The insights are part of Manta's latest SMB Wellness Index that reveals small business quarterly activity and trends.

With the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling crisis, it's no surprise the economy ranks at the top as the main cause of stress for small business owners in 2012. In fact, three-fourths of those surveyed (76 percent) say they disapprove of the job that Congress and the President are doing in regards to managing the recent budgetary issues. And it's having a direct impact on small business decisions and growth. In addition to delaying hiring, 14 percent of SMBs say they won't be increasing salaries or giving out bonuses, and 13 percent are eliminating all discretionary spending.

"The New Year has a new level of uncertainty for all businesses, but I'm not surprised that despite these concerns, small business owners, in particular, still have an optimistic view for what's ahead in 2013," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "It is inherent for small business owners to have a can-do attitude, even in the toughest of times."

This can-do attitude does come with a price for small business owners. The Manta study shows small business owners are not keeping up with their healthy habits from last year -- only 29 percent of small business owners say they ate healthier and worked out more in 2012, down almost 22 percent from 2011. They are also working more and sleeping less. Nearly half of those polled say they worked more than 50 hours every week, up more than 20 percent from 2011 and almost four in 10 SMBs (37 percent) say they averaged less than 6 hours of sleep every night.

"I'm always hopeful about the year ahead, but I also know it's on me to make it happen," said Stuart Rubenstein, co-owner of Florida-based Kaleidoscope Limited. "As a result, it's often my personal health that takes a back seat. Manta eases the burden by providing me with the tools to do everything from expanding my online presence to reaching new customers and sharing best practices with my peers. For me, 2013 is about taking advantage of tools like Manta that help me do more with less."

For more on the Manta Q4 SMB Wellness Index, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to

About the Manta SMB Wellness Index
Manta polled 1,345 small business owners, who are members of and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey about how their health is impacted by their business, in addition to their feelings on the 2012 small business landscape and predictions for 2013, between December 26, 2012 and January 2, 2013. The fiscal cliff/debt ceiling survey polled 292 small business owners and was conducted between January 8 and January 11, 2013 and. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.

About Manta
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at



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