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Main Street Monday — Wells Fargo Says Main Street Optimism at Record High

August 13, 2018

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday — Wells Fargo Says Main Street Optimism at Record High

The good news continues. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index says Main Street entrepreneurs are more bullish about their companies and the economy than anytime in history.

Check out the stats:

  • Current financial situation — 78% of small-business owners rate it as very or somewhat good, compared with 73% in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Cash flow in the past 12 months — 69% rate it as very or somewhat good, versus 63% in the second quarter.
  • Cash flow expectations in the next 12 months — 77% very or somewhat good, compared with 72% last quarter.
  • Credit availability in the next 12 months — 49% say it will be very or somewhat easy to get credit, versus 44% in the second quarter.

In a separate question, 26% of owners say the number of jobs at their company increased over the past 12 months, up slightly from 24% last quarter and the highest in the history of the index. Meanwhile, only 8% of owners say the number of jobs at their business decreased over the past year, standing in sharp contrast to the high point of 35% who reported decreasing employment in the first quarter of 2010.

Further, 35% of owners expect that the number of jobs at their business will increase over the next year, the second-highest reading on this measure in the history of the index. This optimistic anticipation of new hires helps explain why many owners report that being able to find and hire good workers is their top challenge.

In addition to hiring concerns, owners are next-most likely to cite economic issues (15%), which include the challenge of attracting new customers and the economy in general. In addition, 15% mention financial issues — including costs and fees, financial stability, bill paying, and credit. Another 13% mention marketplace issues such as competition, marketing and products.

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