Small Business Owners Feeling More Optimistic About American Economy

August 27, 2013  |  

Small businesses, the backbone of our local economies, are growing more optimistic about the economic future. This confidence is the highest it has been since 2008, when America was in the throes of the Great Recession, Wells Fargo’s latest survey reveals.

With good omens about a strengthening economy and fewer concerns about Obamacare, employment at small businesses — companies with fewer than 49 workers — has doubled over the past six months. The survey finds that 28 percent of small business owners believe that credit will be easier to obtain next year — this is up four percentage points from last year.

Only 30 percent disagree and believe it will be difficult to obtain credit–which is down from 36 percent. “Firms remain optimistic about the coming year despite their unease about current conditions,” Mark Vitner said, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

While these numbers aren’t fantastic — the data is still below pre-recession levels — they are a signifier of a positive outlook on the American economy.

As Wells Fargo’s small business segment manager, Doug Case puts it:

The survey has shown a slow and uneven recovery for small businesses, and this quarter we continue to see business owners express cautious optimism as economic trends improve, such as a strengthening housing market

While critics postulated that Obamacare would slow down small business hiring, there’s no significant evidence that suggests a meaningful drop in employment.

And while it’s true that 77 percent of new jobs were part-time positions, this comes to no surprise as they all were in the fast-food or hospitality industry (not small businesses), which use twice as much part-timers than other companies.

“Most industries are actually using fewer part-timers than last year,” a July study discovered.

The next economic hurdle will be the upcoming debt ceiling debate, which caused big problems with the financial markets and caused widespread economic worry when talks went to the brink last time. The Treasury Department will hit its maximum borrowing limit in mid-October and, according to The Wall Street Journalboth sides of the debate remain “deeply polarized.” So we can set our calendars for when the discussions will hit fever pitch.

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