Small-business optimism falls slightly in June

Dunkelberg cited a litany of concerns expressed by businesses, such as the IRS scandal, and revelations about NSA spying in the United States and abroad. On top of that, he noted a slow down of in the nation's economic growth and delays in the healthcare law that are adding to the uncertainty. 

"Until growth returns to the small-business half of the economy, it will be hard to generate meaningful economic growth and job creation," he said. 

The index — which was 12 points higher in June than at its lowest reading during the recession but 7 points below the pre-2008 average — has reflected the ups and downs of the economy for the past several months. 

The top problems for small-business owners were taxes and regulations and red tape, with 20 percent of those surveyed ranking each as their No. 1 problem. 

Another 18 percent of owners cited weak sales as their top problem. Meanwhile, only 2 percent reported that financing was a major concern. 

Of those businesses asked, 19 percent reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, which was unchanged from May. 

In June, only 7 percent said the current period as a good time to expand facilities (down 1 point).