Small Business Owners Optimistic for 2016 Growth

Most small-business owners have a “positive” or “very positive” outlook for their companies in 2016. That’s according to the Endurance International Group’s 2016 State of the Union survey, the results of which were released on the eve of President Obama’s seventh and final State of the Union address on January 12.

The study found that 77% of small-business owners feel “positive” or “very positive” about their businesses this year, and almost half (48%) stated that their enterprises performed better in 2015 than in 2014. In addition, 72% expect 2016 will be a positive year in comparison to 2015.

Meanwhile, 79% of small businesses in the United States feel that Congress has not been effective in addressing issues important to them, though this is down from 87% in 2015. Most small-business owners (76%) believe Congress should occupy a larger role in encouraging small-business growth, while 57% don’t feel that the major political parties are effective in addressing small business issues. The top two concerns among respondents were taxes and the ability to obtain bank financing.

“While small-business owners are upbeat about their own business prospects, it is clear that they believe Washington could do more to help stimulate small-business growth,” said Hari Ravichandran, CEO and founder of Endurance International Group. “Concerns about taxes and the ability to obtain bank financing remain front and center. Congress must prioritize small-business issues in order to create long-term economic growth.”

More than half (57%) of small-business owners report planning to make financial investments this year, 47% of which call the investments “significant.” The survey also found that 42% of small businesses plan to hire over the next 12 months. This indicates overall confidence in the hiring market, since 93% of the businesses surveyed had fewer than six employees at the time the survey was conducted, and 47% are sole proprietors.

The 2016 State of the Union Survey by Endurance International Group was conducted from December 16, 2015 to January 4, 2016 and surveyed 1,135 owners of businesses with 10 or fewer full-time or part-time workers.