Small Business Owners’ Optimism Nearing Pre-Recession Highs

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey — a measure of small business owners’ perceptions of their operating environments — reached an 11-year high in January at 107 points, up from 103 at the end of 2017 and nearing pre-recession highs. Fifty-two percent of small business owners reported revenue increases over the past 12 months, while 66 percent said they expect to see revenues rise in the coming year.

Almost a quarter (23 percent) of small business owners noted that government policies — including tax policies and regulation — are the most important challenge they face. Other challenges include the economy, financial issues such as cash flow, operating costs and credit availability, hiring and marketplace issues. Just 3 percent said that financing was their biggest challenge, in line with other small business surveys.