The confidence of small business owners is overwhelmingly high. According to Provident Bank’s  Small Business Confidence Survey, 80% of owners feel this way.
Small business owners expect the revenue of their business to improve over the next year. And another 60% also believe the current economic climate is having a positive impact on their business. So much so, they plan to hire more workers.
Small Business Confidence Survey
The survey from Provident Bank is backed by a May 2019 Report from the Small Business Optimism Index from the NFIB Research Foundation. The National Federation of Independent Business has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with surveys since 1973.
In the report, NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan, said  “Optimism among small business owners has surged back to historically high levels, thanks to strong hiring, investment, and sales.”
Duggan attributes this optimism to lower taxes and fewer regulations, which is leading owners to reinvest in their businesses and employees.
Josephine Moran, Executive Vice President, Director of Retail Banking, echoed the results from the NFIB. Adding, their survey matches the, “…reported increased sales, strong job creation and hiring, improved business conditions, and credit conditions for small businesses.”
Positive Economic Climate
Small business owners feel the current economic climate is positive, and this is delivering better numbers across the board.
However, not everyone feels the same way as 10% of the respondents say it is hurting their business. But considering 9 in 10 are experiencing positive growth, there is hope the remaining 10% will also get there.
For those with a positive outlook, they are expecting growth in several key areas. They plan to offer new products (22%), increase spending (16%), move or expand locations (11%) and pursue additional financing (10%) over the next year.
In order to fund the growth, business owners have to get financing. And when it comes to dealing with financial institutions, most businesses also have a positive experience.
Almost half or 41% say they are extremely pleased, with another 43% saying they are somewhat pleased. This was followed by 15% who are neutral, and 1% indicating they were very displeased with their financial institution.
Small and large banks now approve more small business loans in the U.S. since the financial crisis.
Challenges for Small Business
Even though the economic climate is positive, small businesses still foresee some challenges. According to the survey, 23% are concerned about finding ways to grow revenue. Going hand in hand with this very issue, 16% say maintaining cash flow is a problem.
Health care costs (15%) and corporate taxes (10%) are also part of the financial challenges small businesses are facing.
When it comes to finding and retaining qualified talent, 16% say it is a concern. While the strong economy is good overall, the low unemployment number  makes it difficult to find help.
The Provident Bank polled more than 400 small business owners online in May 2019 for its Small Business Confidence Survey.