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Small businesses wary of hiring amid tepid recovery

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Don't look for job market relief from small businesses.

A new survey of small business owners to be released later on Monday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that 64 percent of them do not plan to do any hiring in the next year, while another 12 percent of them planned to cut jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Only 19 percent of the 1,409 executives surveyed said they would be hiring. The survey was conducted from June 27-30, a period of time covered by the latest employment report from the government, which showed the economy created a meager 18,000 jobs in June.

More than half of the executives surveyed by Harris International for the Chamber cited uncertainty over the economy for their reluctance to hire. Seven percent blamed lack of credit and about a third said it was because of a lack of sales. The survey defined small businesses as those with annual revenue of $25 million or less, the newspaper said.

The small business owners also were worried that the U.S. would default on its debt. Seventy percent of them said a default would hurt their businesses. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders resumed budget talks on Monday to reach a deal that would avoid a default. The president said in a news conference that he would continue to push Republicans for the largest debt reduction deal possible and that he would not consider a stopgap deal.

"Now's the time to do it. If not now, when?" Obama said.

The survey wasn't all doom and gloom, however. More than a third of the small business owners, or 39 percent, said the best days for their businesses were ahead of them. But only 29 percent said they thought America's best days were coming. Eighty-four percent thought the economy is headed in the wrong direction, although 61 percent said their own businesses were in the right track, the Wall Street Journal reported.