That Sinking Feeling
"I have hardly ever had what you would call a conventional political discussion with a small-business person."
-- President Bill Clinton at a Rose Garden ceremony on May 13, commenting on the difference between traditional party politics and the pragmatic world of small business, where success is measured in terms of quantifiable results
Speaking of quantifiable results, Ernst & Young has just completed its annual survey of all prior winners of Entrepreneur of the Year awards, and the returns are not heartening. Only 54% of the 300 chief executives who responded said they expect an economy conducive to growth over the next year. That is a 24% decline in the number of confident CEOs from 1992, when 71% of the respondents reported they were optimistic about the economy in the coming year. And remember that these CEOs run some of the most robust companies in the United States. We wonder what troubles them most -- the weakness of the economic recovery or uncertainty about what's happening in Washington.* * *