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Small business optimism skyrockets

31021187 - female owner of coffee shopSmall business owners are an increasingly upbeat group. In fact, U.S. small-business owners’ optimism has reached an 11-year high, just shy of the record confidence level recorded in 2006, according to Gallup research.

What’s behind all of that cheer? According to polling conducted at the start of the year, a majority of business owners (52 percent) report that their company’s revenues has increased over the past year. That’s a higher percentage than at any point since 2007. Additionally, 66 percent of business owners expect their revenues to increase in the next 12 months — the highest level in 15 years. Small business owners were even more optimistic about cash flow, with 77 percent expecting it to be very good or somewhat good in the next 12 months.

The National Federation of Independent Business also reports growing optimism so far in 2018, building on record-setting optimism in 2017. The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index reached an all-time high average monthly reading in 2017, beating the previous record set in 2004.

One of the biggest concerns of small businesses, however, remains the shortage of qualified workers, which is prompting many employers to increase pay and benefit offerings to better attract and retain qualified employees.

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