Small business owners in the United States and Utah are looking forward to the next 12 months, according to a recent study. But Utah has dropped in the rankings from number three in the nation to eighth this year for small business optimism.
So how can small business optimism apply to local and national economies?
“Nationally we saw that if a business owner is optimistic, they’re two times more likely to hire more employees, they’re three times more likely to give raises, they’re four times more likely to expand their inventory. Those are all things that drive economic value,” said Brad Plothow the vice president of marketing and communications at Womply, a small business analytics company.
Utah did slip in the percentage of business owners with ‘the intent to hire' category. Plothow said this could be caused by recent trends of more jobs being available in the state than there are people to fill them.
Another weakness in the state of Utah, according to Plothow, is many small independent business owners say laws and regulations are not friendly to small businesses.
“Utah actually ranked out really poorly there,” Plothow said. “Only six percent said that the state regulatory and legal environment is friendly to small businesses. That’s 46 out of 50 states. There could be some businesses in spite of all the great things that are happening in Utah with the economy, a lot of the momentum we have maybe the small business environment isn’t where it should be so they’re not looking to hire as much because of that.”
Plothow said bringing in large companies and still supporting small independent businesses is a difficult thing to balance. Although this is a trend nationally, he believes small businesses are the fabric that drives positive growth economically and socially.