With large corporations continuing to pare their work forces, hopes for a pickup in employment clearly rest with small businesses, which accounted for roughly half the new jobs created in recent decades. But such prospects look increasingly slim if the latest annual survey of small business owners by D&B Reports, a magazine published by Dun & Bradstreet Corp., is any indication. The survey reveals that small-business executives are more downbeat about the economy than anytime since the 1982 recession. "Small-business owners," says D&B Reports editor Patricia W. Hamilton, "are about as scared as I've ever seen them, and a lot of them just won't believe any evidence that they should feel otherwise."
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