San Diego Business Journal

It looks like Southern California small-business owners are feeling just a little more pessimistic than their counterparts in the northern and central portions of the state.

A recent survey of roughly 1,000 of the state's small-business owners found that overall confidence in the current economic market and prospects for the next three months is down 8 percent from the previous quarter. Broken down into regions, the survey shows that Southern California is the most disappointed with the current market conditions compared with how they felt in the last quarter, which was measured in August.

The results of the survey, which was conducted via telephone and represents a random survey of about 350 small-business owners from each of the three regions, was released by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation on Dec. 1.

Southern California's rate of confidence in the current market is 39 percent, compared with the overall state confidence rate of 41 percent; Northern California's rate of 44 percent; and central California's rate of 45 percent. Southern California showed a 10 percent regional drop in confidence compared with no change in Northern California's confidence this quarter and only a 5 percent drop in central California's confidence.

When it comes to confidence related to how "good" the market will be in the next three months, the survey results show that Northern California's confidence dropped 8 percent, central California's confidence dropped 4 percent and Southern California's confidence dropped 9 percent. Overall, 59 percent of the state's small businesses expect the next three months to be "good." Southern California's confidence rate in that category is also 59 percent, while Northern California's rate is slightly less at 58 percent and central California's rate is slightly more at 62 percent.

More survey results are available at www.nfib.com/research.

Send small-business news to Jessica Long at jlong@sdbj.com. She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359.