Cautious optimism? Hopeful pessimism? Small business owners' outlook is a mixed bag

Dec 12, 2023
A National Federation of Independent Business survey found respondents pessimistic about business conditions. That said, more businesses decided to invest in equipment — a sign that many are hopeful about the future.
American small business owners have a mixed economic outlook, according to a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey.

Small business optimism ticked down in November

Dec 12, 2023
The National Association of Independent Business's small business optimism index has been below its historical average for nearly two years.
While the labor shortage have been easing, it's still a persistent issue for small businesses.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

With higher interest rates, small businesses and lenders proceed with caution

Oct 10, 2023
Only a quarter of small businesses say they're getting the credit they need, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
Some banks have been more cautious about lending to certain sectors of the economy that aren’t doing so well. That includes commercial real estate.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Weathering the economic storm, this small-business owner remains optimistic

Feb 6, 2023
Like other retail businesspeople, Amelia Freeman-Lynde of Durham, North Carolina, has grappled with supply chain and staffing issues.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde owns Freeman's Creative, a craft shop in Durham, North Carolina. "Not only is it year over year been a really different business, but every month,” she says.
Jade Wilson/Courtesy Freeman-Lynde

In a show of optimism, small businesses have been doing a lot of capital spending

Oct 11, 2022
Sometimes the spending is to stay afloat in a competitive market. And sometimes it's to take advantage of new opportunities.
Recent data show that wages aren't growing at a fast enough rate to keep up with inflation, which impacts low-income workers the hardest.
Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

For small businesses, optimism about the future continues to wane

Apr 12, 2022
Small business owners are to grappling with staffing shortages, supply chain issues and higher costs.
"We’re as concerned now as we were a year ago of our ability to survive this," said one small business owner.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Why this CEO is leaving “money on the table”

Oct 12, 2021
“No company wants to say no to growth, but there is another side to that,” said Farmgirl Flowers CEO Christina Stembel.
Christina Stembel, who runs Farmgirl Flowers, a direct-to-consumer flower company, said she’s forfeiting growth opportunities this year in an effort to take on less risk.
Courtesy Farmgirl Flowers

For public good, not for profit.

Small businesses don't see much cause for optimism

Jan 12, 2021
Just 3% say they're feeling bullish enough to borrow money, despite interest rates near historic lows.
A "Closed" sign at a nail salon in Virginia. Small business optimism is at a seven-month low as the pandemic continues to rage across the U.S.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images