Cash Flow Continues to Be King

Survey of small-business owners shows less fear of a recession.

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Good news all around from today's Discover Small Business Watch survey, which covers small-business owners' attitudes and economic situation as surveyed in the middle of July. On pretty much every indicator, things have improved for small businesses—and it all seems to link back to that one magic question, "How's your cash flow?" Last month, 42 percent said that they had experienced cash flow problems in the past 90 days. But that number fell all the way down to 33 percent for this month.

In addition to (or maybe as a result of) all this cold hard cash, small-business owners have found more optimism in the past month. Now, 28 percent think their economic conditions are getting better, up from 23 percent last month, and 17 percent rate the economy as "good" or "excellent," up from 12 percent. Those numbers are around where they were one year ago.

Can we say that fears of a small-business recession should be fading?