After tracking a dive of 4 points earlier this year, a survey commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows an uptick in the number of small business owners nationally expressing a positive take on current economic conditions.
Done in partnership with the New York-based MetLife insurance company, the Small Business Index shows a strong 68.7 percent of owners of small businesses currently expressing confidence regarding the economy.
That increase from the last index survey may be attributable to serval factors, including the month-long shutdown of the federal government from December of 2018 to January 2019, which depressed the response in the previous survey.
The most current index additionally indicates that some 59 percent of small business owners nationally say the U.S. economy is currently “in good health,” a 6 percent jump from the last quarter’s results.
The index additionally shows a somewhat gender-neutral era of good feelings, with 59 percent of male-owned small businesses expressing economic optimism, compared to 58 percent of the women-owned businesses.
In the area of challenges confronting small business owners, the issue of health care plans appeared daunting, with one in five of owners indicating that they are trying to keep monthly premiums low.
The owners also said just trying to figure out the various health plans offered is time-consuming, with “one in every five small business owners saying they do not have enough information to make informed decisions about health care options.”
Reviewing those responses, Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber, said in a statement: “For small business owners, health care costs and complexity continue to gobble up time and resources that could otherwise be spent growing their companies and creating more jobs.”
By Garry Boulard
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