Small business owners are more optimistic than they have been in a decade, according to a new Wells Fargo and Gallup small business survey. The survey resulted in a Small Business Index score jump to 106, an 11-point increase from April, which was driven by stronger financial situations, healthy revenues, easier access to credit and an increase in hiring. The last index score is the highest since April 2007 when it was 113.
“Our latest survey tells us that small business owners continue to feel confident about their current situation and are optimistic about the future,” said Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo. “As the economy strengthens, small business owners are reporting improvements in their day-to-day operations, particularly their sales. With their finances in better shape and fewer business owners expressing concern about the regulatory environment, more businesses are planning to boost capital spending and hiring. It’s reassuring to see these improvements, and to see that optimism has returned to its highest level since early-2007.”
But challenges remain. The business owners surveyed said retention of quality hires, struggles with finding new customers, taxes and regulations, and the overall economy were areas that remain a challenge.
In addition, seasonal changes to businesses remain predictable — a part of the challenge of attracting new customers. To offset the decreased activity in off-season times, companies are reducing capital expenditure or hours for employees, according to the survey.