Small-Business Owners Have Big Hopes for 2017

NEW YORK — Small-business owners are optimistic about the year ahead, making investments in their businesses, a New York Life Insurance Co. survey found.

In fact, small-business owners' optimism outpaces that of the general public ages 30-plus, 60 percent vs. 43 percent.

This optimism can be attributed to a number of areas that small-business owners expect will have a positive impact on their businesses, including: technology (75 percent); the new political landscape (57 percent); the employment market/talent pool (56 percent); interest rates (54 percent); and health insurance (53 percent).

"Small-business owners are heading into 2017 with good feelings, and this was consistent across size and years in business," said Brian Madgett, vice president, New York Life.

The ways in which small-business owners are planning to build their companies in 2017 are:

  • Incorporate mobile technology in their business — 66 percent
  • Network more with other business owners and/or professionals — 64 percent
  • Grow its company (e.g. open another location, increase revenue, expand capabilities, etc.) — 62 percent
  • Seek additional capital — 55 percent
  • Hire more employees — 52 percent
  • Improve employee benefit package — 49 percent
  • Take out a loan — 46 percent

Key steps small-business owners plan on taking in 2017 will be learning about ways to minimize taxes (79 percent), take a family vacation (75 percent) and learn about ways to build an emergency fund (71 percent).  

"Small-business owners have big plans for 2017, with many looking to incorporate tech, seek capital, hire, improve offerings to employees and explore ways to better manage their money," said Madgett. "We’re hearing positive economic sentiments across the country in our conversations with small-business leaders. With this shift in attitude comes a renewed interest in financial planning and is no wonder that 55 percent report they plan to engage a financial professional for assistance as it relates to their business needs in 2017."

Ipsos conducted the online survey of 1,124 small-business owners on behalf of New York Life from Nov. 30 through Dec. 8.

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