Boro businesses say things are looking up — a little! • Brooklyn Paper

Boro businesses say things are looking up — a little!

The much-hyped F. Martinella Deli on Court Street has closed after a very short run.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Brooklyn’s economic prognosis for 2010 is a good news/bad news thing.

The bad news is that 52 percent of business owners don’t think the economy is going to get better this year, according to a new survey from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. But the good news is that the same survey last year revealed that 90 percent were similarly pessimistic.

Chamber President Carl Hum said that just getting through 2009 gave most small businesses a reason to be a bit more optimistic.

“We were on the precipice of collapse,” Hum said. “But because we survived 2009, businesses are thinking that what didn’t kill us made us stronger.”

But the survey did reveal some more bad news: Of the 48 percent of business owners in the survey who think the economy will improve this year, only 27 percent thought their own business would pick up.

Then again, 57 percent of participants said they expect to hire at least one full- or part-time employee in 2010. In last year’s survey, only 43 percent thought that they’d be able to bring on more staff.

And 88 percent of business owners said they do not plan on firing anyone this year. Last year, only 78 percent made that claim.

Health care, which registers on almost everyone’s radar, played a major role in the survey, revealing that 46 percent of business owners support reform, even if it means higher taxes.

“The general feeling is that providing coverage is essential to being able to attract and employ more people,” Hum said. “But they want to be able to do it efficiently.”

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