Self-employed Say Business Is Bad in '08

Nearly half of all self-employed earners in Israel report that their businesses are not doing as well as in 2007, according to a survey conducted by the UK-based Smith Institute on behalf of Lahav, the bureau of self-employed earners in Israel. Slightly more than 30% of respondents described their independent businesses as doing much worse. Only 18% reported that business is better this year. The survey of 400 respondents, owners of small and mid-sized businesses, also revealed that only 54% of the independently employed maintain pension savings plans for their employees, in spite of an extended ordinance issued by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, mandating every employer to do so.