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3/26/2018

Celebrating National Small Business Week

Small businesses are deeply rooted in the fabric of American society and are responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.1 These companies are critical to powering our national economy as well as building America’s future in the global marketplace. Since 1963, the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners have been recognized by the U.S. government each year for one designated week. Mark your calendars – this year, National Small Business Week is being celebrated from April 29 through May 5.

So what is typically considered a small business? While the definition is fluid, most business executives describe small businesses in terms of the number of employees and business properties a company has. Small business owners are thought of as innovators who share an entrepreneurial spirit and push forward new ideas and strategies that go beyond the traditional path. Typically, small businesses are flat organizations where managers and employees have a personal relationship that mirrors their approach to creating customer relationships.

Insights from Small Business Owners

As Small Business Week shines a light on these powerhouse companies, it’s worth examining a recent CIT and Harris Poll survey2 which revealed some perspectives from members of the small business community about their place in the overall economy and the outlook for the year ahead. A majority of small business owners (54 percent) feel that their company is better off today than they were a year ago. Fifty-two percent also say they expect the size of their workforce to increase over the next year, with 46 percent expecting it to stay the same and only two percent expecting it to decrease.  This boost in workforce is most often attributed to customer demand and business opportunities (53 percent), as well as the need to innovate to stay ahead in the industry (15 percent).

Small business executives expect their ability to hire will depend on the current economy conditions and the quality of the applicant pool as well as the availability of capital (34 percent, 31 percent, and 21 percent, respectively). The coming year is also expected to bring growth for small businesses in many other areas, with 72 percent of executives anticipating increasing their range of products and services and 58 percent expecting to expand into adjacent markets. Some concerns for small business owners remain around data security, inflation, interest rates and capital costs in the coming year.

Resources

Aside from highlighting the achievements of entrepreneurs and small business owners, Small Business Week is a great time to share the many resources available to those professionals as they look to grow their companies. With 88 percent of executives expecting to make an investment in their small business in 2018, financing will be crucial for helping small business owners achieve their growth objectives this year. Whether you’re looking to update your technology, purchase new equipment or increase your marketing efforts, an experienced lender can provide the capital you need with the personalized service you deserve. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Learning Center provides online courses to help you learn about the financing process and a number of other critical small business topics.

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