by Ray Hayes

Since President Trump took office, small business owners have expressed tons of optimism and confidence in the US economy. The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported that during the month of the September the confidence level of small business owners had reached the second highest mark in the past 45 year history of the monthly index. Additionally, the CNBC/Survey Monkey also reported records highs in confidence levels for small business owners.

Jessica Moser, a senior vice-president at MetLife, recently chimed in on the reports and expressed her take on the record high levels. “Small business owners continue to tell us that they are confident in the national small business environment, and, just as encouraging, most have confidence in their local environments as well. This bodes well for the US economy, as small businesses are consistently an engine for growth all across the country: purchasing equipment and inventory, paying taxes, and employing ever-increasing numbers of individuals.”

Now the numbers are great, but what comes up, must come down eventually. We can expect to see levels begin to decline with the new challenges small businesses will be begin to face within the coming months such as a limited access to capital. More than 40 percent of small business owners reported that their businesses are not in good health which indicate that it has not been easy to obtain financing and/or credit, according to the MetLife/Chamber study.

Furthermore, the current trade war is also dampening the mood of many business owners. The Guardian reported that, “Interest rates are rising and markets continue to be volatile, driven by unexpected comments from the White House and events overseas. Tariffs, duties and other fees related to recent disputes with China, Mexico, Canada and some of our other largest trading partners are adding new costs, generating uncertainty and making it harder for many small companies to sell their products overseas.”

If we take those two challenges into account, it seems to be okay to assume that the confidence levels may drop in the coming months. The White House newly created trade war will have many owners lining up to complain about their unhappiness and fear of how it may affect their business financially and the US economy. Hopefully, my assumptions are only an overreaction and nothing changes but who knows. With new challenges developing every day for small business owner’s things may get bumpy sooner than later.

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