Optimism among small business owners is reaching new highs. According to a recent USA TODAY/Allstate survey, 64 percent of companies with 100 or fewer employees say their businesses are doing well, up from 61 percent in late 2015. Looking forward to the future, 72 percent of the respondents believe the next year will be a great one for their companies, up from 64 percent in late 2015.
The USA TODAY survey mirrors the results of other surveys targeting small businesses nationwide. Small business optimism is showing its first consistent increases since the Great Recession. According to Capital One’s latest Small Business Growth Index, 50 percent of small business owners feel current business conditions are good or excellent, up from 41 percent a year ago. The same percentage of business owners expect business conditions to improve in the next six months – the highest level since spring 2012.
That optimism is for the first time translating into consistent hiring activity. In a national survey of 16,000 businesses with fewer than 500 employees, the New York Fed found that more than 60 percent expect their revenues to grow in 2017, and 40 percent plan to hire more employees. Payroll provider ADP said that small businesses are hiring an average of 93,000 workers each month in 2017, up from an average of 61,000 last year.