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Small Business Owner Optimism Rises: Allstate/USA Today Survey

A new survey of 2,800 small business owners conducted by Allstate and USA Today revealed 90 percent of respondents said the benefits of owning a small business outweigh the risks.

The “Allstate/Small Business Barometer” survey showed optimism is increasing among small business owners, and many small businesses are reporting increased sales, revenue and hiring growth thus far in 2017.

Small Business Trends

Key trends highlighted in the Allstate/Small Business Barometer include:

  • Innovation is driving small businesses. Half of all survey respondents said they have experimented with new business practices to provide their customers with better goods and services than ever before.
  • Younger businesses are more likely to innovate than others. Younger business owners are nearly four times more likely to take steps to attract investors or business partners.
  • The small business economy is improving. Forty-nine percent of respondents said their companies have grown more in the past three months than they did in the same period last year.
  • Small business owners are stressed. The biggest cause of stress for small business owners is managing business responsibilities and demands.
  • The costs to own a business are rising. Fifty-one percent of respondents said the costs of business materials and equipment are higher this year than last.
  • Female business owners face unique challenges. Despite sharing similar attributes like size of business and length of time operating a business, 41 percent of women respondents said their businesses make an annual income of less than $100,000, compared to only 21 percent of men’s businesses.

The survey also indicated 16 percent of small business owners currently serve as or are veterans, while 45 percent of small businesses employ a current or former service member.

Moreover, businesses owned by or that employ veterans tend to outperform others in terms of past business performance, optimism for the future, hiring, recent growth and increased sales, Allstate noted in a prepared statement.

Reality Check

Amid those upbeat views, ChannelE2E continues to strike a cautionary tone. No doubt, demand for certain IT services remains overwhelmingly strong. But there are potential warning signs ahead.

Chief among them: Private equity buyout valuation are at their highest levels since 2008. Plus, misleading PE investment returns, student loan debt and money-losing cloud startups could all be cause for concern.

Still, entrepreneurs sound optimistic.

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