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SCOTUS Ruling, Regulation Cloud SMB Optimism

More research confirms the seemingly unwavering optimism of small businesses in the U.S. today. The latest report from Small Business Expo finds a significant portion of small businesses (SMBs) in the country are indeed optimistic and expect growth but not all, or even most, agree.

According to Small Business Expo's Bi-Annual Trends Report, published last week, 38 percent of the 400 small business owners surveyed said their business has grown this year, and their overall outlook for 2018 remains positive. Forty-one percent of those professionals agreed that they feel optimistic about the national economy for the year ahead.

As headlines about small businesses' strength and positivity continue to capture the spotlight, Small Business Expo's report suggests that most entrepreneurs aren't feeling as rosy as some analysts may expect.

According to Small Business Expo Owner Zachary Lezberg, owning a small business can be a difficult challenge.

"Starting your own business has long been the American dream," he said in a statement. "However, there is a reality about owning your own business that is not always discussed. The goal of our Bi-Annual Trends Report is to help shed light on the more challenging aspects of owning a business while also highlighting the benefits."

Analysts for the report pointed to the transformation of digital technology, regulations, taxes and other emerging factors as particularly challenging aspects of entrepreneurship. One-quarter of SMBs said they didn't experience any revenue growth this year, and nearly half disagree that the U.S. presidential administration supports, and is trying to help, small businesses.

Cash flow emerged as SMB owners' top choice when it comes to factors that impact their current business operations, followed by finding the right technologies and hiring the right talent. Most businesses agree that the Supreme Court's recent ruling that requires online retailers to collect state tax will negatively impact their business, and most agree that there is too much government regulation of small businesses.

At the same time, most SMBs said they disagree with the idea that the U.S. is in the midst of a "retail apocalypse."

Still, optimism remains strong and for small business owners in the U.S., research suggests there is opportunity to grow.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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