Small Business Owners Growing Increasingly Optimistic

Across the country, millions of small business owners have likely experienced some strong growth in the last few years thanks to the broad economic recovery that has been under way for some time. Now, it seems that many entrepreneurs expect that trend to continue more or less unabated in the coming months and beyond.

Today, 83 percent of the owners polled say that they feel growing expectations for success when it comes to their companies’ future prospects, and 70 percent say they believe the economy will improve, according to the latest PNC Economic Outlook Survey. The latter number was the highest seen since 2007, when the economy tanked.

“As crude oil prices fell to six-year lows, both consumers and businesses experienced savings that are now reflected in business optimism,” said PNC chief economist Stuart Hoffman. “As inflation pressure eases, wages and consumer spending power will tick upward. In response, business owners are expecting a better 2015 which directly supports what PNC forecasts will be the fastest real GDP growth since 2004.”

What else do owners expect?
Meanwhile, another 57 percent of these entrepreneurs said they believe their companies’ sales are going to increase, while 51 percent say profits should grow over the next six months, the report said. These numbers, too, were the highest observed in years.

In addition, though only 22 percent of owners say they’re going to hire more workers, 72 percent say they at least have no plans to lay anyone off, and those numbers are more or less unchanged over the last six months, the report said. Further, slightly more than 1 in 5 say that there’s at least a strong likelihood that they’re going to seek new credit in the next six months, up 5 points from the 17 percent seen in the fall survey. In all, 40 percent of owners say that they haven’t obtained any small business credit in the last two years, and more than half of those respondents say they’ve never done so.

Owners who want to best prepare their companies to hire or even look attractive to creditors might want to think about the benefits of cutting their costs in a number of ways. That could include taking the time to find more affordable small business insurance policies, including those for liability insurance, to potentially free up thousands annually.