Alaska business owners know that things work differently here. Just witness our resilience to the recent depression and slump. Still, Alaska is not completely immune to national business trends, so I've been exploring small business survey data published by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index shows that business owners are feeling better about prospects than in 2009, but are still less optimistic than they were before the financial crisis began:
Although optimism has ticked upward, few businesses indicated that now is a good time to expand. Asked why, nearly half indicated that "economic conditions" were to blame:
The availability of credit fell sharply in the wake of the crisis, and has only partially recovered:
The general outlook seems to be improving, but only at a frustratingly slow pace and the possibility of a double-dip looms large. What are your experiences with the business climate?