Small Business

Survey Offers Another Positive Sign for Small Business

Joseph O'Dell,

Small business optimism is growing, according to a survey released today by Wells Fargo Gallup. The survey, which interviewed 600 small business owners in early January, found an increase in expected revenue, hiring and access to credit in the coming year.

It's among several surveys of small businesses released in the past weeks that indicate small business optimism is on the rise.

Marc Bernstein, executive vice president and Head of Wells Fargo Business Direct and Small Business Segment, noticed several things in the data that indicate 2012 could be a better year for business, including “a stop in the decline of capital spending, delinquencies in payments are down, and borrowing is up,” he told

Among the survey results: 49 percent of small business owners say they believe revenue will increase by a lot or a little over the next 12 months, which is up from 37 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011; 22 percent say they expect the number of jobs in their business to increase by a lot or a little over the next 12 months, up from 15 percent in the previous quarter; and 27 percent say they will have an easy or very easy time accessing credit over the next 12 months, up from 22 percent in the previous survey. A hefty 63 percent of owners say they expect their financial situation to be very or somewhat good over the next 12 months; that’s up from 55 percent in the last quarter.

Although the survey shows a more positive outlook, Bernstein said that small business owners were still cautious, pointing to still-lackluster job growth and a soft housing market. However, he said “we are beginning to see pockets of investment show up. The rise in retail sales and revenue are all positive signs moving forward.”

Another survey, this one from PwC, also released today, measured growth at private companies. It reported that 78 percent of the 250 chief executive officers responding to the survey said they expect positive growth in revenue and hiring in the next 12 months.