Small Biz Optimism Up, Kinda

Aug 14, 2014

Small business owners think the economy is improving, if only slightly.

Kyle Jackson is the NFIB's state director for Georgia.

The National Federation of Independent Business latest survey shows small business owners’ optimism rose a fraction of a percent in July to 95.7.

The NFIB sampled 1,645 random small businesses.

WABE sampled two, including Jake Rothschild, founder of Jake’s Ice Cream at the Irwin Street Market.

“I see almost nothing but great things, especially here in Atlanta where building is taking place, enthusiasm is high," he says. "Our business is growing.”

Rothschild says he’s about to double the size of his business, which now employs 22 people.

Job creation plans were a highlight of the survey, with the data showing the best reading that category has seen since 2007. Sixteen percent of surveyed businesses plan to add employees.

Mitch Leff is president of Leff and Associates Public Relations. He has five employees. He says inquiries for PR services are up. That’s a good sign.  

“An even better sign: we’re seeing a higher percentage of those translating into paying clients, much more than we’ve seen in past years," he says.

While ice cream and positive spin might be doing well, a lot of other businesses are not.

Kyle Jackson is state director for the Georgia Chapter of the NFIB.

“One of the top - if not the top issues - is poor sales. People aren’t out buying things," Jackson says. "People aren’t out spending money on goods and services like they have in the past.”

Jackson says if you look at past economic recoveries, the current business confidence isn’t as high.

And the survey backs that up.

Of 10 index components, there was little overall change.  There was a slight increase in optimism surrounding expansion and business conditions, which accounted for the overall small gain in the Index. 

The NFIB says that even though these improved, they still remain historically low.