Small business owners were slightly more optimistic in October but remain concerned about the outlook for business conditions and sales growth, according to a survey of National Federation of Independent Business.

State-specific data isn’t available from the random survey of 2,077 members of the business group.

However, Renee Baker, Louisiana director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said businesses across Louisiana face the same challenges as those in other states.

“Small-business owners face an enormous amount of uncertainty, especially when it comes to issues such as health care and burdensome regulations, and business is still sluggish,” Baker said in a news release. “Until things change and small-business owners feel good about the future, they’re not going to grow. They’re not going to open new stores, they’re not going to invest in new equipment, and they’re sure not going to create jobs.”

According to the survey, the outlook for business conditions and real sales growth remain solidly negative and at recession levels. The labor market indicators remained basically flat meaning job creation will be well short of that needed just to keep up with population growth, much less reduce the unemployment rate. Capital expenditures remain depressed and there is little interest in investing in inventory. Few firms have any interest in expanding, which means demand for loans is weak. About two-thirds of all owners have no interest in borrowing, and loan activity is at a 38-year low.