Small Businesses Feeling the Trump Effect

Small business optimism in December 2016 is high. In fact, small businesses haven't been this optimistic since the beginning of the Obama administration.

Small businesses supported Donald Trump throughout his presidential campaign. And the support seems to continue with an upbeat attitude by the majority of small business owners after Trump’s win in the November 2016 election.

A new study has found small businesses’ optimism improved to its highest level in eight years after the 2016 presidential election.

Small Business Optimism in December 2016 is High

Feelings about a new Trump presidency seem to be a big part of that optimism. For example, 51 percent of small business owners believe their companies will be better off under a Trump presidency and new Congress. Meanwhile, 61 percent of small business owners said they believed Trump would focus on issues important to them.

The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which measures the optimism of small-business owners, increased to +80 in mid-November from +68 in July.

The November index shows the highest optimism reading since January 2008.

Key Highlights

Improvement in small business owners’ optimism about the future, rather than their opinions of the present situations, is mainly responsible for the increase in the overall index.

Here are some important takeaways:

  • The number of small business owners who expect company revenues to rise over the next 12 months grew from 48 percent to 58 percent.
  • Thirty-five percent of respondents expect to increase spending compared with 25 percent surveyed in the third quarter.
  • Thirty-six percent expect adding jobs compared with 21 percent in the third quarter.

Great Expectations

Small businesses played a major role in swaying the election results in president-elect Trump’s favor.

“Going into Election Day, the PPD U.S. Presidential Election Daily Tracking Poll found small business owners heavily favored Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, 61 percent to 36 percent. That’s far higher than the 52 to 47 percent split Mitt Romney enjoyed over President Barack Obama during the month of September before Election 2012,” Richard Baris, senior editor and analyst at People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) told Small Business Trends in an email interview in November.

Naturally, expectations are huge from the Trump administration. Small businesses will be keenly watching how he acts on his promises to deliver much-needed tax, healthcare and regulatory reforms.

For the survey, Gallup interviewed approximately 600 small business owners across the country. The index measures a business’s current standing and combines that with its future outlook to create a score.

Trump and Pence Photo via Shutterstock

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Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

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