Even with the economy in recovery mode, many small business owners are still hesitant to bring on new employees. This was revealed in a recent CNNMoney-Manta survey of 1,500 small business owners in which 28 percent of respondents cited the economy as their biggest challenge.

This reluctance is spanning across industries – from law firms to small start-up entrepreneurs.

Victoria Aguilar’s law firm is prospering but she’s not confident enough in the economy yet to hire more personnel. “If the economy doesn’t continue to heal, or reverses, all of us want enough savings on reserve so we aren’t another statistic,” said Aguilar.

Other industries are feeling the same uncertainty about hiring – even those with low overhead costs – like Leah Ellis who runs two businesses out of her home. Her pet sitting business, Toto’s Pet Care, lost clients when larger corporations were downsizing. Many of her clients worked for corporations that were affected and therefore, had to do some downsizing of their own.

Additional challenges facing small businesses that were uncovered in the survey follow:

  • Hiring – 5 percent
  • Healthcare – 5 percent
  • Financing – 15 percent
  • Government Regulations – 18 percent
  • Growing Sales – 21 percent


O’Brien, Sara Ashley. “Is it safe to hire? Business owners don’t trust recovery”. Money.cnn.com. 8/19/2014.