Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Future — Here’s Why

Ignore headlines; the economy is working for small businesses.

  • The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index fell, continuing a months-long trend, and reports of struggling owners bombarded headlines.
  • Optimism among small-business owners has been high since November 2016.  
  • The NFIB insists that small-business owners are enthusiastic about the economy and are creating jobs and raising wages.

Ignore the noise, small-business owners, because the economy is working for you. A small-business owner might feel like collateral damage in the trade war and low unemployment rate, but the National Federation of Independent Business reports just the opposite.

Optimism showed a modest dip in November, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, a monthly collection of trends and data from NFIB members. With major news sources highlighting the month-over-month incremental decline, the NFIB warned small-business owners to not look at the figures in a vacuum and to understand the bigger landscape of how small businesses are succeeding.

Small-Businesses Invested in Themselves in 2018

Although the index continues to point south, the optimism level is still roughly 10 points higher than it was in October 2016, before the presidential election.

Despite the numbers, NFIB’s messaging is clear. “Small-business owners are enthusiastic about the economy and have demonstrated their optimism by raising wages, creating new jobs, and investing in their businesses throughout 2018,” resident and chief executive Juanita D. Duggan said. “Overall, small-business owners have shown a historic trend in optimism for their businesses and the economy and continue to be the driving force behind economic growth.”

Check Out: The Top 10 Free Resources and Tools for Small-Business Owners

Capital Spending and Job Creation Plans Are Strong

A further drill down into the monthly index report would suggest that capital spending and job creation plans are strong, and plans to raise employee wages rose to 25 percent, the highest since 1989. Across the board, 9 percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) experienced higher sales in the past three months. Moreover, at least 30 percent of owners of construction, manufacturing, retail and transportation small businesses reported a boost in quarterly sales.

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