Allstate/USA Today poll says small business confidence is way up

Allstate/USA Today poll says small business confidence is way up

Sixty-four percent of businesses with 100 or fewer employers say their companies are doing well, up from 61 percent in late 2015, according to an Allstate/USA Today survey. And theyêre backing up their optimism with more hiring and spending.

An even higher number, 72 percent, expect to do well in the next year, up from 64 percent in late 2015. Businesses in Washington had an optimism score of 60 out of 100, solidly in the middle. The highest scores were in Nashville and Cleveland (63) and the lowest, Los Angeles, 56.

The promise of lower taxes and fewer regulations from President Trump, improved sales and the end of the last vestiges of the Great Recession were some of the reasons USA Today cited for the greater optimism. And business loans are easier to get.

The optimism has led to more hiring and spending. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed said they had added one or more new employees in the past three months, up from 22 percent in late 2015. And a March survey by the National Federation of Independent Business said that 64 percent of small businesses had made a capital purchase in the previous six months, matching the peaks of 2005 and 2013.

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