Small Business Buzzing Again

Business is booming in America...especially small business. The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index for small business increased to a seven-month high in May, returning to levels last seen before the partial government shutdown put a crimp in the economy last winter. The survey, which examines ten components of small business, found nine of the ten were either improved or unchanged last month.

In particular, hiring remains strong, something also seen in Houston businesses. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses say they are hiring or trying to hire, with over half reporting trouble finding enough qualified applicants to fill job openings. More than two-thirds of small businesses reported spending on capital equipment, and nearly a third plan to invest in the next few months.

All of these are signs that businesses expect the economy to remain strong for the foreseeable future. "Everyone we talk to is experiencing tremendous business increases, more to their bottom line, and they're just happier," says Mel Lisiten, New York-based business broker.

Lisiten credits several factors for the strong optimism among small businesses. "The Small Business Administration has loosened its requirements, the economy has helped with reduction of corporate income taxes, and business is just better overall," he tells KTRH. "(The tax cuts) give (businesses) more opportunity to spend money on growth, on innovation, on expansion, on new employees, on a host of things."

Consumers are seeing the benefits, as well. Despite the Trump Administration's increased tariffs on China, less than ten percent of businesses surveyed say they plan to raise prices in the near future. "Business is up for the most part, and they're optimistic about the future," says Lisiten.

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