The nation’s third largest credit card issuer and the number one sub-prime issuer has found that all small business owners are reporting a better financial position today compared to one year ago.
Capital One’s second quarter Spark Business Barometer discovered that millennials (18-33-year-olds) were the most optimistic group surveyed when asked about their sales volume, economic outlook and plans for growth. In fact, nearly two-thirds of millennial small business owners reported increased sales in the past six months, compared to 41% of small businesses overall and 45% of millennial small business owners plan to hire in the next six months (versus 30% of all small business owners). The survey also found that more millennials support legislation, like minimum wage increases, that could improve their workforce’s financial position.
According to this quarter’s survey, 41% of small business owners increased sales over the last six months, while more than one third report that sales have remained the same. Small business sales results have been trending upwards, with more small business owners reporting sales improvement than sales stagnation in each of the previous three quarters.
Looking ahead, small business owners are cautiously optimistic about the future. The survey found that while 45% of small business owners believe their firm’s financial situation will be better in six months, another 45% expect their situation to remain the same. This sentiment has improved steadily over time – in Q1 2009, 34% of small business owners indicated that they felt their firms’ financial positions were worse than the previous year.
Small business owners across the country continue to be more confident in the outlook for the local economy than the national economy. Nearly half of those surveyed are optimistic about the direction the national economy is headed in the next 12 months, although sentiment among millennials is significantly higher (79%) than the national average. Three-quarters of millennial small business owners consider business conditions excellent or good – only half of total small business owners agree with this sentiment. Optimism in the national economy is down 3% since the first quarter.
When asked to compare their current financial situation with this time last year, 39% of small business owners believe they are better off, which is a 5% improvement since the previous quarter and the highest since 2012.
Small business owners overall are divided on proposed minimum wage increases. More than one-third are in favor of the proposed increase, while another one-third are opposed. Nearly half of millennial small business owners support the proposals.
Forty-five percent of millennial small business owners intend to hire new employees, compared with 30% of small business owners overall
The Spark Business Barometer findings are based on a telephone survey conducted by the opinion research firm, APCO Insight.
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