Growing optimism among NJ small business owners
The third quarter survey revealed that the overall Small Business Index score increased in July to a positive 49, up two points from April. The score, which measures small business optimism, has increased six of the last seven quarters.
"We are finding that optimism is up. It's at the highest level since the recession," said Jane Navarria, a Wells Fargo Business Banking Area manager for New Jersey.
Overall, business owners are feeling better about the state of their business, with 62 percent saying their current business financial situation is very or somewhat good. That's up from 57 percent in April.
"Revenues have increased, cash flow improvement is at a six-year high and small business owners said they feel that it's easier to obtain credit in the past 12 months," Navarria said. "We're having many more conversations with business owners looking to improve cash flow cycles. More customers are interested in using electronic products and services, and we're having more conversations about credit and capital investments."
The survey also found the number one concern among small business owners is attracting customers. They also have concerns about government regulations.
Another finding was that businesses are increasingly using technology in different ways.
"They're using mobile, working from their personal computers, from tablets. Businesses really are adopting social media practices. Companies are increasingly trying to market and promote their businesses - build their online reputations, even advertising," Navarria said.
As for the future, Navarria said business owners are hesitant about being overly optimistic because challenges still exist. In fact, the future outlook survey for business owners in the third quarter was down two points from April to a positive 31.