Recently Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg released an update to the Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Survey. This survey is interesting in that it captures the current feelings on how things are going economically of more than 10,000 small businesses nationwide. These small businesses typically have 5 or fewer employees, thereby reflecting the sentiments of the average small business owner. And Thumbtack collects this data on a monthly basis so the stats are both up-to-date and comparable to the past. Information can be viewed at a national, state or city level.
The good news is this inaugural version of the survey shows a slow and steady recovery among America's smallest businesses:
- Overall Optimism about the future. Small business owners rank expectations of their future financial situation 15 to 20 points higher than their financial situation today. And there was a 25 percent reduction in citing "uncertain economic conditions" as their number one concern for the future. Short-term 80% of owners predicted their revenues would increase over the next 3 months.
- Low concern about inflation. Business owners do not see a change in prices going forward though they have increased their expectations of what they will pay their employees.
- Employers more optimistic than sole proprietors. Employers are generally feeling better about the economy than business owners who operate alone with a consistent 4 point spread between the two groups.
- The strongest growth in overall sentiment is seen amongst the construction and transportation industries.
- Southern states a bit more positive than the West and Northeast. Good feelings were shared across the country as businesses in every state reported feeling "somewhat positive" about the economy in their area. However, when comparing the states to one another, Southern businesses reported feeling the most positive about the economy, while businesses in the far West and Northeast were the most tempered.
A special thanks to Jon Lieber Chief Economist at Thumbtack.com for sharing this valuable survey.