May 7, 2018
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Main Street Monday
Main Street Monday — 71% Say Their Business Improved Last Year
According to the Spring 2018 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report.
“Small business optimism and overall confidence in the economy remains high, largely due to an increase in sales and revenues, which suggest demand is strong,” says Mark Vitner, Wells Fargo managing director and senior economist.
75% of small business owners are confident that the economy is heading in the right direction for their businesses to expand over the next 12 months.
Plus, 80% say they are optimistic about their own financial outlook in the next 12 months.
A few key takeaways:
- The survey Small Business Index score was the highest level in decades at 106. The current scores meet or exceed those for pre-recession periods. For perspective, the highest score ever recorded was 114 in Q4 2006.
- 71% of business owners surveyed indicated their businesses improved over the past year.
- 62% stated they were somewhat or very likely to purchase new equipment.
- 60% were likely to invest in new products or services to expand their business.
- As far as challenges are concerned, the tight labor market is top-of-mind for small business owners. 64% of those surveyed reported that hiring and retention of qualified employees was the most significant hindrance to their growth in this opportunistic economy.
- Given this concern, the majority of business owners are planning expenditures to retain their staff. 59% would likely give employees pay raises and 52% would likely pay bonuses or offer other benefits in the next twelve months.