Conditions are less than ideal for the nation's small businesses, a recent Capital One study suggests.
According to the credit-card company, just 27 percent of small business owners reported in the third quarter that conditions for their firm were improving. In the second quarter, 32 percent reported improving conditions; in the first three months of the year, 39 percent did.
And between the second quarter and the third, the proportion of small companies whose financial position had improved in the past year dropped from 37 to 30 percent.
The National Federation of Independent Business echoes Capital One's findings in its latest Economic Trends report. Between September and October, the NFIB's small-business sentiment index rose but remained stuck in recession territory.
Yet things may soon get better for small firms: Both the NFIB and Capital One expect small companies to hire more workers in the coming months.
Thirty percent of the 1,901 business owners polled by the latter will expand their payrolls – 4 percentage points more than in the second quarter. And the former noted that "Main Street may contribute to private-sector job growth for the first time in over a year."