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As we close out the year, it’s always interesting to take a look back at a few key points in the year.  For this article, we’re taking a look back at last quarter’s small business confidence which saw owners extremely confident about the future of their business.

According to a late August to mid September Bank of America survey of 1,067 business owners, small business confidence was at a high for the short and long term.  “Fifty-seven percent said they expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, and 56 percent have plans to increase business over the next five years. Two-thirds said they’re planning to expand in the coming year.”

Over the past Quarter that number has come down a bit as uncertainty with a new Congress, trade policies, and new interest rates have hit our nation.

“The survey also shows owners are less worried about health care costs than they were a year ago even as the price of insurance is still an issue for many. Sixty-three percent called health care a concern, compared to 72 percent a year ago. Owners were also less concerned about consumer spending, commodities prices, the strength of the dollar and minimum wage increases.”

Currently the same sentiment exists although small businesses are now increasing wages to attract qualified workers.  New hires are down but that is more to do with the low unemployment numbers.

A key point that has most certainly changed for this quarter is the fact that, in Q3, “only 28 percent of small businesses said they’re planning to raise financing in the next six months, a sign that owners expect to keep doing well. Strong cash flow and sufficient financing were again cited as reasons why owners aren’t seeking more money.”

With the new uncertainty in interest rates for 2019 and Congress policies it is hard to say what the long term affect of small business confidence will be.  In addition, a stock market that has seen incredible volatility throughout the quarter makes it hard to understand how to correctly move forward. 

What a difference a quarter makes.

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