May 14, 2018

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday — Main Street Earnings at Historic Highs, 50% Don’t Need Credit

From the April 2018 Small Business Economic Trend Report:


Thirty-two percent reported all credit needs met (up 1 point), and 50 percent said they were not interested in a loan, up 3 points but one of the lowest readings since 2010.

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, unchanged and historically low.

Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 18 percent citing taxes, 13 percent citing regulations and red tape, and 22 percent the availability of qualified labor.

Five percent reported loans “harder to get,” historically low. Thirty-one percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis (down 1 point). The average rate paid on short maturity loans was up 30 basis points at 6.4 percent, rates are rising gradually with Fed policy moves.


The NFIB said that small business earnings were the highest in the history of its survey, which dates back to 1973, and also noted that small business optimism increased in April to a level in the top 95th percentile of its all-time average.


• Labor quality remained the #1 problem for the fourth straight month.
• Reports of improved earnings trends were the highest in survey history.
• Reports of compensation increases held at the highest level since 2000.
• Reported job creation posted another solid gain.

Read the report here.