It's early in the going, but after a prosperous 2017, small-business owners remain highly encouraged that 2018 will be a revenue-positive period, according to recent polling released by Gallup.
In the survey research firm's latest Small Business Index, optimism among small-business owners reached a plus-107. That's up four points from the fourth quarter and is the measure's highest reading since 2007. The first Gallup Small Business Index survey was conducted in 2003.
"Business creation is high in several major metropolitan areas."
Entrepreneurship has grown rather appreciably in recent years. Indeed, according to Babson College, 25 million new businesses have opened their doors since as recently as 2015. Some of the cities with the highest levels of total entrepreneurial activity in the previous two years have included Miami, Florida and Detroit, Michigan.
"America's small-business owners continue to be optimistic about their business situations, and express record levels of optimism about key areas of their business especially their revenues and cash flows," said Frank Newport and Coleen McMurray, methodologists at Gallup.
The time is right to expand, owners say
Other polls measuring small-business owners' sentiment largely corroborate Gallup's findings. For instance, the Small Business Optimism Index – a monthly analysis conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses – reached 106.9 in January. Almost one-third of small-business owner respondents said they feel the current economic environment is an ideal one to consider expanding.
Juanita Duggan, NFIB president and CEO, indicated its clear people aren't just observing the fruits of a stronger economy – evidenced by a roaring stock market – they're experiencing it right where they live and work.
"Main Street is roaring," Duggan said. "Small business owners are not only reporting better profits, but they're also ready to grow and expand. The record level of enthusiasm for expansion follows a year of record-breaking optimism among small businesses."
NFIB's Optimism Index showed earnings for small-business owner respondents in January rose 11 points compared to December, reaching a level that hasn't been witnessed in 30 years.
Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the NFIB, said today's entrepreneurs are starting to see the type of economic growth that the U.S. is known for, feeling as good about its state than they have in years.
Minority ownership up 38 percent
The business owner landscape is not only growing in size but broadening in diversity, as more individuals are taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to them. Between 2007 and 2012, there's been a near 40 percent increase in the number of companies in the U.S. today owned by a minority, based on the most recent statistics for which data is available from the U.S. Small Business Administration. For some demographic groups, the change has been even more dramatic, including African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders.
"99% of companies in the U.S. are small businesses."
The lifeblood of the U.S. economy is small businesses. There are roughly 29 million small businesses in operation today, according to government data, employing 56 million employees. That represents 48 percent of the country's full-time workforce and 99.7 percent of all companies.
Here at Growth Capital, we couldn't be happier about the successes of the economy and those of small-business owners. But there's always room for improvement and we're in the business of helping to make that happen. When you need money to get closer to your growth goals, let us know. We may be able to help.