NFIB Finds Small Businesses Optimistic, Planning Expansion

Small Business Optimism

In its January 2017 Index of Small Business Optimism, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) discovered that small business owners are more optimistic than they’ve been in over a decade. This optimism comes alongside early signs of a bullish stock market and wage growth entering into the new year.

NFIB’s monthly jobs report also discovered that this higher optimism going into the new year is coupled by hiring. With 18% of small business owners reporting that they were planning to increase their employment, trends point toward growth for small businesses, and new opportunities for recent college graduates and job changers. Furthermore, 25% of businesses consider it a good time to expand. NFIB notes that this current economic recovery is reminiscent of the 1983 recovery, which, NFIB explains “was followed by years of economic prosperity”.

As SMBs look to growing their businesses, many may begin to consider how to cover the newly hired employees. Depending on the industry, businesses may need to consider purchasing Workers Compensation for their employees. In most states, businesses are required to purchase Workers Compensation after meeting a certain employee threshold. In some states, that threshold is fairly low. Arkansas, for example, requires most businesses with as few as 3 employees to purchase this type of insurance to cover their employees.

Meanwhile, expansion for some businesses may mean acquiring new property. Depending on the type of business, this might mean expanding current Commercial Property and General Liability policies. In some cases, businesses seeking to expand may benefit by rolling both policies together into a Business Owners Policy, which can provide a simpler solution to purchasing the Commercial Property or General Liability policies separately.

Although NFIB found some negative trends, such as a slight decrease in plans for capital outlays, NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan explained that growth trend will likely continue. “Now they can see relief on the horizon,” she said, “and they are much more optimistic about the future.”