The inaugural MetLife’s Small Business Index was released recently highlighting the views of small businesses across America. The Index, which is a partnership between Metlife and the US Chamber of Commerce, revealed that small businesses. particularly in the south, are upbeat about the future of America’s economy. While no comparison can be done in terms of the index as it is the first ever, this can be seen as an improvement from last year, when some were concerned about the future of America.
While some of the change can be attributed to President Trump’s “America First” message, more can be given to local economies. I can attest to this local theory as communities within the city of Detroit, for example, are seeing huge investments from the likes of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and independent venture capitalists.
In terms of hiring, the report revealed that “about 72 percent of small businesses neither reduced nor increased staff size over the past year. Businesses with more than 20 employees, however, were more likely to have staffed up during that time period… Looking ahead, more than half say they expect to keep staffing levels the same, while more than a quarter are projecting they’ll add employees in the coming year.” As you can see most businesses are either staying the same or planning on increasing their employee base. There does seem to be a sense of growing opportunities in America as the nation refocuses itself a bit.
In an interesting fact, despite growing optimism for a decrease in government regulation, currently time spent on regulation is at a six month high. “Strong majorities of respondents said the amount of time they spend on governmental requirements had either stayed the same or increased in the past six months. Specifically, the report said about 25 percent felt they were spending more time on those tasks than they were previously.”