A recent small business index released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife reflects what other small business reports have been revealing – that US small business is sound and looking to grow. Unemployment is reported to be its lowest in 50 years and report after report continues to signal American business supporting the president’s policies and actions. The news seems pretty positive and here are the highlights from the small business index findings recently published by MetLife and the US Chamber of Commerce:
- An unprecedented 59% of small businesses say the health of their local economy is good. This is the most optimistic businesses have felt toward their local economy since the survey began.
- Many other indicators remained steady and near all time highs this quarter. For example, views of the national economy remain high (and statistically unchanged) with 57% saying the national economy is in good health (down from 58% in Q3). But this represents a positive trend since the beginning half of the year (59% in Q2, 53% in Q1) and marks a full year of optimism felt by a majority of small businesses.
- Geographically, Midwest small businesses rank as the most optimistic concerning the national economy (62%), followed by those in the South (57%), in the West (54%), and in the Northeast (53%). Small businesses in the South are the most optimistic when it comes to the overall health of their local economy (63%).
- Retailers became more optimistic about their local economies. Since last quarter 59% of small retailers say their local economic outlook is good, compared to 49% in Q3.
- Overall, small business revenue expectations remain steady and statistically unchanged this quarter (58% in Q4, compared to 55% Q3). Larger businesses are more likely to expect revenue growth: 62% of companies with five or more employees expect revenue growth. In comparison, 55% of those with four employees or less expect revenue growth (although this is up from 49% last quarter).
- 83% of small businesses feel comfortable with their cash flow, statistically the same as last quarter (81%) and tied with two quarters ago (83%), for the highest level of optimism about cash flow since the survey began.
- 57% feel the national economy is in good health, continuing a positive trend since the beginning half of the year (59% in Q2 2019) and marking a full year of optimism felt by a majority of small businesses.
- 20% of small businesses report increasing their staff size this past year. This is the highest percentage to report doing so since the survey began in 2017.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer