EC businesses weigh in on new survey about economy - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

EC businesses weigh in on new survey about economy

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A new survey shows small business owners believe the economy is starting to recover, but are still cautious about expanding. The survey, done by US Bank, shows that nearly 50 percent of small business owners in the US think the economy is in recovery mode, while almost 40 percent argue it's still in recession.

WQOW News 18 spoke with several businesses Wednesday about where they feel the economy is at. Overall, business owners say things seem to be improving.

WQOW News 18 asked Dan Goelzer, the owner of The Calico Shoppe and Purple Petunia, how he thinks the economy is doing.  "I think that it wants to recover, and every once in awhile you get that feeling, you get a little boost but then it draws back a little bit so there's ebb and flow with that," says Goelzer.  

Bob McCoy, the President & CEO of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, says, "I think economically we're pretty good, if you look back, 2012 from a retail standpoint, we're up six and a half percent."

Every six months the chamber of commerce surveys area businesses. "We've seen from six months ago significant, almost fifty percent increase, from the companies that said in January over July, I'm going to make some positive changes in the labor force going forward," says McCoy.  

80 percent of those businesses are considered small, or employ 25 people or less. McCoy says, "Growth is growth, so if I have five people and I increase one person that's great and you get 200 companies to do that and that's pretty significant."

One unknown that brings small businesses pause is health care. McCoy says, "There's still some unknowns out there with the whole healthcare scenario and that's one of the biggest concerns for companies. is "what kind of cost factor am I going to have?"

For small businesses on Barstow Street, another concern is what this summer will bring. All of the sidewalks will be torn up as part of the Barstow Reconstruction Project. 

That project will happen over the course of the summer and is expected to be done by the end of August.

The survey also showed that about two-thirds of small business owners in Wisconsin and nationally are still hesitant to make significant investments in their companies....and probably wouldn't do so in the next year.

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