Small business owners across the U.S. have an optimistic outlook concerning their operations’ health, when considering plans to hire, their revenue expectations and plans to invest back into the business, according to a new report.
The findings come from MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, a study that includes data collected from 1,000 small business owners and operators from March 30 to April 21. The results show that “approximately 60.6 percent of small business owners have a positive outlook for their company and the environment in which they operate,” the study states.
More than 25 percent of the respondents to the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index came from wholesale and retail businesses.
Business owners expressed some concern regarding their operations and the national and local economies, as well as the amount of time spent fulfilling government regulations, according to the study. Another area of concern for the business owners was hiring, with 25 percent of respondents reporting the quality of applicants for their open positions to be “poor.”
Businesses with 100 to 500 employees tended to rate their overall business health higher than smaller businesses, according to the data. More than 50 percent of businesses with 100 to 500 employees called their overall business health “very good,” while about 45 percent of businesses with up to four employees labeled their overall business health as “average or poor.”
Other findings from the study include:
- 72 percent of small businesses have retained the same staff sizes over the past year.
- Nearly 30 percent of owners hope to increase their staff sizes in the coming year.
- 60 percent of owners and operators expect revenue to rise in the year ahead.
The MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index tracks small businesses’ confidence levels for the second quarter of 2017 and is the first in a series of surveys.