Stronger sales in the second half of 2014 has small business owners optimistic for better sales in 2015, according to a new survey by the Wall Street Journal and Vistage International. Roughly 80% of the 830 owners surveyed said they anticipate better sales in 2015, up from 77% who felt that way heading into 2014. Along with better sales, other indicators also provide small businesses reason for optimism in 2015.
- The falling price of oil is serving as an economic stimulus that is only now beginning to have a positive impact on economy. The positive momentum should benefit most small businesses (exception: those in the oil and related services business) during 2015.
- To bring more homebuyers into the marketplace, federal mortgage banking agencies are in the process of slowly relaxing regulations and requirements related to down payments and other measures that were imposed after the 2008 economic meltdown. This should provide a needed jolt in the growth of residential construction jobs.
- “Finding capital remains a big challenge for many small companies in the economic recovery. Banks held roughly $590 billion of small business loans in the third quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That is still 17% below 2008 highs. Meanwhile, just 18% of banks eased standards for small business loans in 2014, according to a report released in December by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
- “Taking up the slack for small business borrowers are alternative lenders, which typically make small but costly loans online. Many alternative lenders provide little transparency about the effective cost of their loans.”