America’s small businesses: Quite bullish on 2015 … but with no thanks to the government.

Small Business Economic OutlookRecent reports on economic activity appear to show a continuation of a rather wobbly recovery of the U.S. economy since coming out of the Great Recession.

It’s a repeating pattern of one quarter of strong growth followed by the next one with weaker indices — sometimes with the stats from earlier quarters revised downward.

Still, things are still better for the U.S. economy as compared to many others around the world.

America’s small businesses appear to feel similarly about the U.S. economy.  Their perspective may be even more positive, in fact.

Illustrating this perspective, a January 2015 survey of ~850 U.S. businesses (ones that employ ten or fewer full-time or part-time workers) finds small business owners having a pretty bullish outlook on the year ahead.

In a survey conducted by web hosting company Endurance International Group (formerly Bizland), two-thirds of the respondents reported positive prospects for their businesses for 2015:

  • General business outlook is very positive: ~26% of respondents
  • Generally positive outlook: ~45%
  • Neutral outlook: ~25%
  • Negative outlook: ~5%

These findings align quite neatly with how these business owners see 2015 as compared to 2014’s performance:

  • 2015 will be positive compared to 2014: ~66% of respondents
  • 2015 will be about the same: ~29%
  • 2015 will be negative compared to 2014: ~5%

But … these positive impressions happen with no thanks to the government.  When asked if they felt that the U.S. Congress is effective in addressing the issues that are important to small businesses, a whopping 87% gave thumbs-down.

Even the changes in Congressional leadership that came about as a result of the 2014 midterm elections have done little to improve the perceptions of these business owners, as ~69% do not believe that the new leadership in Congress will be any more effective in addressing small business issues in 2015.

And what are those issues that are so important to small businesses?

They’re the usual things:  business taxes first and foremost … followed by the ability to obtain financing.

The next tier of issues includes the ability to hire workers with the appropriate skills, along with the ongoing healthcare coverage challenges.

Any other issues are basically just an asterisk at the bottom of the page …

More details on the survey results can be found here.