It’s Not Just You, Business Owners Remain Optimistic 3 Months Into 2017

Date: March 24, 2017

If you’re feeling good about owning a small business, you aren’t alone.

Business owners remain optimistic at levels not seen since before the Great Recession.

Small business owners continue to remain optimistic as reported by NFIB’s March optimism index and confirmed by Wells Fargo’s small business index for Q1. Both reports indicate that business owners remain optimistic in 2017, and the Wells Fargo report finds business owners to be the most optimistic they’ve been since the beginning of the Great Recession.


NFIB’s findings reported a slight decrease of 0.6 points to the overall index, while individual components fluctuated slightly. Plans to increase inventory, current inventory, and current job openings all increased. Expected credit conditions remained at the same level, and the other components all slightly decreased.

“It is clear from our data that optimism skyrocketed after the election because small business owners anticipated a change in policy,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The sustainability of this surge and whether it will lead to actual economic growth depends on Washington’s ability to deliver on the agenda that small business voted for in November. If the health care and tax policy discussions continue without action, optimism will fade.”

Wells Fargo/Gallup’s survey found that 71 percent of small business owners said that their financial situation was very or somewhat good, while 45 percent said that their businesses revenue increased over the past 12 months.

Wells Fargo/Gallup’s index has reported increasing confidence since April 2016, with the highest bumps to the index coming in November up to a score of 80, and then the current survey’s increase to a score of 100.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup survey also found that 70 percent of surveyed small business owners do not have a formal, written transition plan, and that 59 percent plan to create one before they retire or stop working. The survey also reported that more business owners feel they’ll be able to live comfortably in retirement, up 10 points from the last time the question was asked in 2014 to 76 percent.


Does Your Small Business Have a Lousy Retirement Plan?

State-Sponsored Retirement? NFIB Members Say No Thanks.


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