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Must be pretty bad out there for small businesses

March 28, 2011 | 11:23 am

For five years now, the Discover credit-card people have been putting out a monthly survey of 750 randomly selected small businesses, asking them questions about the economy, their sales, the business climate and other issues.

Lately, of course, the results have been pretty depressing. This month's survey, for example, shows that two-thirds of small-business owners say it's "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that they will have to use personal funds to keep their companies afloat.

But the bigger indicator may be a little note tacked onto the end of this month's report: The company plans to stop doing the survey altogether, as of right now.

Discover's PR company, Burson-Marsteller, refuses to say why the survey will be discontinued or to make anyone at the company available for comment. Spokeswoman Emily Il, a brand marketing rep for Burson-Marsteller, would say only that "the company decided to allocate its marketing dollars elsewhere."

Ouch.

-- Sharon Bernstein

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