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With sales up and business conditions improving, small businesses are feeling good about the future, according to Capital One's newest Small Business Growth Index, finding that 60% of small business owners (SBOs) believe that their current business environment is either good or excellent. And 37% are doing better financially than they were last year, which is up 6% from earlier in 2017.
That said they still report having issues to wrestle with over the coming year, including taxes (45%), managing cash flow (42%) and staying on point with technology (32%). "It is always encouraging to see a positive shift in small business sentiment, considering the great impact they have on our local and national economies," said Celia Edwards Karam, head of small business bank at Capital One.
"At the same time, it's clear business owners need better tools to help them address and manage challenges like cash flow and technology. We remain focused on understanding these challenges and delivering experiences designed to help businesses succeed and grow," she said.
Sales and confidence are up
Sales have gone up for 47% of small businesses over the last six months, which represents a 10% upswing from earlier in 2017. And confidence is up as well when it comes to the economy, sales and their financial position going forward--hitting the highest point since 2012.
Yet while all this signals hopefulness, plans for hiring have not grown, with just 25% of small business saying that they will be hiring during the coming six months, which is down 2% from earlier in the year.
Have increases in minimum wage impacted their growth? The answer was no for 72% of small business owners.
Cash flow, tech and taxes
Cash flow along with tech is on the minds of small business owners, with cash flow concerns up 11% from the fall of 2016. Staying on track with new technology.
When it comes to keeping on track with technology the study saw a 7% spike in anxiety by small business owners when compared to the same time last year.
The relaxing of both federal and state regulation had a positive influence on growth. Yet for 37% of respondents, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had an adverse impact on their growth. Taxes were also an issue for small business owners.
Capital One's Fall 2017 Small Business Growth Index Survey was carried out between August 17 and September 7 by ORC International, a market research company. They interviewed 500 for-profit small businesses located in the U.S. These companies had revenues totaling less than $10 million per year.