Is 2016 going to be a good year for small businesses in the U.S.? According to the latest data from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Business Index and the Bank of America (BofA) Small Businesses Report, SMB owners do see a bright future in the coming year — in a rather literal sense, it seems.
Overall optimism fell slightly at the end of 2015, according to FOX News Business, but 78% of small- and medium-sized business owners plan on expanding their business over the next five years (whereas just 67% said the same a year ago). Nearly 70% of SMBs state that they plan on hiring more employees during 2016, whereas only 51% in 2014 said they planned on hiring during 2015.
Overall, 75% of all SMBs state that they expect to see revenue increases during 2016, and this is 10% higher than last year’s report. More small business owners not only have confidence in their local economies, but they seem more confident in the global economy than at any point in the past five years.
Part of this optimism is likely a result of the domestic economy stabilizing enough to benefit smaller businesses. Even though many companies began seeing positive numbers just a few years after the 2007 Recession, it has taken almost a decade for that positive growth to trickle down to SMBs. Insufficient funding, for example, is still the second biggest reason for small business failure — and without stability on Wall Street, getting a reasonable line of credit is no easy feat for entrepreneurs.
Another factor of the optimism, as the Huffington Post reported recently, is likely a result of so much growth in the tech industry. SMBs have greater access to money- and time-saving technology, like cloud data storage, peer-to-peer funding opportunities, and affordable digital marketing tools.
So what exactly will 2016 hold for the country’s small businesses? With any luck, the actual outcome will be as positive as SMBs are predicting now.