NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Yet another survey tells us that small business owners are less optimistic about the economy. A Wells Fargo (WFC) survey found that small business optimism declined last month. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index declined six points to 17 in the second quarter, virtually erasing gains from earlier in the year, underscoring the lingering concerns business owners have about their future financial situation, revenue and cash flow.
For perspective, business owner optimism was at a minus 28 in the third quarter of 2010, according to the survey.
Still, the number of business owners expecting to be in a "good financial position" over the next 12 months fell seven percentage points to 59%. Business owners expecting increased revenue over the next 12 months also fell six percentage points to 43%.The survey also included questions to gauge business owner attitudes about capital spending. Fifty-three percent of business owners say they have made capital investments over the past 12 months, mainly in new equipment or machinery, the survey says. About 41% plan to make capital investments in the next 12 months. "This is the first drop in the Index this year and it seems to correlate to the lower percentage of business owners planning to invest in their companies in the year ahead," said Doug Case, Wells Fargo small business segment manager. "In the survey, businesses said they'll be more likely to invest in their businesses when they see improvements in their operating environment, and better sales and revenues." 2. Entrepreneurial lessons from Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Gymnastics star Gabby Douglas left her home to move 1,000 miles away to dedicate two years of her life to pursue her passion. Was it worth it and more importantly, as an entrepreneur, would you do the same? For Gabby, it most certainly was. Huffington Post came up with three lessons small-business owners can take from Douglas' success. First, develop mental toughness to deal with the ups and downs in business. Next, turn skeptics into believers by taking "what's simple, impossible and insane and make it tangible." Finally, seek out a business coach or mentor. Like Gabby you may have raw talent, but without someone to guide you, that talent could be wasted. 3. Crumbs serving up Starbucks coffee and beverages. Shares of cupcake specialty bakery, Crumbs Bake Shop (CRMB) spiked more than 70% on Tuesday, the day after it announced that it had entered a partnership with Starbucks (SBUX) to serve its brewed coffees, teas and espresso drinks at Crumbs' 51 locations. Crumbs will become the largest national retailer to be included in Starbucks' "We Proudly Serve" program, which provides the coffee chain's branded beverages and other products to customers outside of Starbucks' retail stores. "We believe that the availability of Starbucks drinks in our stores will greatly enhance the Crumbs experience for our customers and significantly increase our beverage business," said Julian Geiger, president and CEO of Crumbs Bake Shop, in a statement. "As our beverage business increases, we also expect to see an increase in the demand for our baked goods." Starbucks beverages will first be made available at all Crumbs stores in the New York area beginning in September and rolled out to all other Crumbs locations after that. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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