Small biz owners more confident

By Neal St. Anthony - Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS (McClatchy) — Competition from big business has replaced “uncertainty” about the future as the chief concern among small business owners nationally, according to the ninth annual U.S. Bank Small Business Survey.

The survey, early in the 10th consecutive year of economic recovery since the Great Recession, found that increasing numbers of small business owners are confident and investing in their shops and services.

“Businesses loathe uncertainty so their confidence in the future is a positive sign,” said Ross Carey, head of business banking at U.S. Bank.

Small businesses generally struggled with sales and then credit for expansion when business rebounded during the early years of the recovery.

The sector got its mojo back by 2012-2013, followed by a slow increase in expansion capital and hiring that has greatly accelerated in recent years.

Nearly 70 percent of the 2,700 owners surveyed described themselves as optimistic about the future of their own company. Fifty-seven percent expect their revenue to increase in 2018; 55 percent expect growth in profits.

Market research firm LRW conducted the online survey of 2,700 small business owners with revenue of up to $10 million in 25 states during January and February.

By Neal St. Anthony

Star Tribune