Small Business Owners Confident About the Economy and Business

By at 26 July, 2018, 1:12 pm

Small Business Insider


by Raymond J. Keating-

The Paychex Business Sentiment Report released on July 25th showed confidence among small business owners in terms their business outlook and the economy.

Specifically, on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the most optimistic, small business owners (firms with less than 500 employees) gave an average score of 65 on their current business outlook; 69 on finding new customers; 62 on access to capital; 60 on the state of the U.S. economy; and 59 on their ability to make capital investments.

That’s a strong showing, and bodes well for the economy looking ahead.

Key Concern: Hiring and the Tight Labor Market

A key concern came in the area of hiring, reflecting an increasing tight labor market. For example, the outlook was pessimistic in terms of hiring, with a score of 31 on full-time workers, 31 on part-time workers, and 16 for temporary or contract workers.

Key Challenge: Regulation…State and localities step in (further)

As for challenges, regulations actually topped the list. Paychex reported: “Finding the right employees isn’t the only hurdle for business owners, as regulations topped the list of today’s challenges. In fact, according to respondents, keeping up and complying with regulations at the state and federal level are tied atop the list of challenges when it comes to managing their business. Meanwhile, keeping up and complying with local regulations ranked third on the list.”

As Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO, noted: “As the Trump administration continues to promote a deregulated business environment, you’re seeing many state governments take action in response, resulting in a new wave of employer-facing regulations.”

Of course, on that last point, such counter-productive and costly actions by states and localities will places them at a competitive disadvantage in terms of attracting entrepreneurs, businesses, investment and workers, as SBE Council makes clear in its “Small Business Policy Index” and “Small Business Tax Index.”

Of course, further tax and regulatory relief, along with affordable health care choices and free trade policies (not tariffs), would further boost the outlook of the entrepreneurial sector of our economy.


Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP:  The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.


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