May 3, 2017
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Report: Small business owners optimistic about the future of their companies

Main Street is thriving and outlooks are rosy, according to the new Allstate/USA TODAY Small Business Barometer

Jenny Poon is the founder of CO+HOOTS, a coworking space in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of CO+HOOTS

Despite the rising cost of running a small business, the vast majority of entrepreneurs and business owners across America are optimistic about the future. Those are the key findings of the second annual Allstate/USA TODAY Small Business Barometer, released last week. The barometer bases its results on a mix of public data—pulling from the census and Bureau of Labor Statistics, among other sources—and a comprehensive survey of almost 2,800 small business owners across the country.

Of those surveyed, nine out of 10 local entrepreneurs felt that the benefits of running a business outweighed the stresses. And although rising costs could serve as a dampener, 72 percent of those surveyed were optimistic about their business’s future in the coming year. Their optimism was based on trends that many had observed: sales, revenue, and hiring have all gone up in the past year.

The barometer yielded several fascinating insights into America’s small-business landscape. For one, it found that businesses that hire veterans perform better than businesses that don’t. The research revealed that employees with military backgrounds bring teamwork skills and have personal traits that are valuable to operating a business, including self-discipline, according a press release from Allstate. Currently, 45 percent of businesses employ a service member or veteran.

The barometer also found that roughly half of all business owners have invested in innovation by experimenting with new business practices and strategies. Young business owners are particularly likely to innovate; they are also more likely to be optimistic about the future of their business ventures.

The Renewal Project is made possible by Allstate.

Mikhail Klimentov

Mikhail Klimentov is a contributor to The Renewal Project.