World Economy

Small Business Owners in US Upbeat on Economy

Some companies see the hopefulness in their customers, and it’s infectious.
Some companies see the hopefulness in their customers, and it’s infectious.

Donald Trump’s election as president has made many small business owners more upbeat about 2017. While many business owners are more confident because their revenue looks to increase in 2017 due to the overall improving economy, they’re also optimistic because they expect Trump to deliver on promises to lower taxes and roll back regulations including parts of the health care law, according to a recent Wells Fargo survey.

But owners may not be expecting overnight relief. Many recognize it will take time to see what the administration’s plans are, and what it will accomplish, AP reported.

Business owners were considerably more optimistic about 2017 in a survey taken shortly after the election. Some 46% of the 600 questioned in the Wells Fargo survey said the operating environment for their companies would improve next year; that compares to 30% two years ago.

Savers, stuck with minuscule rates on certificates of deposit and savings accounts since the financial crash, are going to have to wait longer before they see much improvement.

While interest rates have increased for those buying a home or using a credit card in recent weeks, rates for CDs and other savings products have barely budged.

The highest-paying CDs still pay barely more than 1% for a year, and it might take some effort to find that. Savings accounts might pay about half that.

“Many banks are flush with deposits. The last thing they need to do is to raise rates to bring in more (money),” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

Some companies that cater to other small businesses see the hopefulness in their customers, and it’s infectious.

“The election does give me more optimism than I would have had otherwise,” says Kurt Steckel, CEO of Bison Analytics, which does software consulting. Bison’s inquiries from prospective clients, small companies that are looking to expand, have nearly doubled since the election.

Steckel is also upbeat about an overhaul of the health care law. He says the cost of his small group insurance rose sharply when the law went into effect, and he had to stop offering coverage to his 10 staffers. He says if insurance were to become more affordable, he’d restore coverage.

Among the other laws and regulations that small business advocacy groups want to see eliminated or changed are the Department of Labor’s overtime rules that were scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, but were put on hold by a federal court in Texas.

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