Since President Trump’s administration took office in early 2017, more and more surveys are finding an increased confidence in small business owners. This increased confidence is great, as small businesses employ half of the work force in the country.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported the second highest level of confidence in their 45-year history. It also found that for the first time since 2006, owners added the most workers per firm. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index had an Index score of 118, the highest level in its 15 year history.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents 3 million businesses across the country. They found the U.S. economy grew 4.1 percent in the second quarter. Their latest report also shows that 70 percent of small business owners have a positive look about their business and the small business industry as a whole.
TD Bank’s annual Small Business Survey found that 53 percent of small businesses plan to grow in 2018, up from the 46 percent reported in 2017.
Despite the positive statistics and increased confidence, small business owners still face some challenges. Finding skilled workers and being able to retain them is the biggest problem small businesses have and have had for decades. The NFIB report found that one in four small businesses struggle to find skilled workers.
Healthcare costs continue to rise and small owners find it hard to provide affordable benefits to their employees, if they are able to provide them at all. A skilled worker has better benefit opportunities with bigger corporations that are able to afford better benefit packages.
The rising minimum wage also increases the pressure on wages and profit margins. Small business as a whole have a harder time accessing funds. Struggling small businesses have an even harder time getting financed. A improved borrowing plan for small businesses can help them grow even further and be able to compete with larger companies.
Just last month, President Trump signed an Executive Order to make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans. In turn, better retirement plans can lure skilled workers to smaller businesses. The Executive Order calls for the Labor and Treasury departments to review the current regulations and improve them, a process that may take months, according to White House aides. As always, it is important to set up your business with the best business insurance to protect it when things do not go as expected.