Small business owners are optimistic about their prospects, despite uncertainty about the presidential election in the U.S. and the holiday shopping season, according to a new survey by Chase.
In its inaugural 2016 Fall/Winter Chase Business Leaders Outlook, which Chase released on Thursday (Oct. 6), the financial firm found around two-thirds of the close to 900 small business owners who took part in the survey said they were optimistic about their business over the next 12 months. What’s more, 55 percent felt the same way when asked about their industry. The survey also found that only 49 percent were optimistic about their local economy and 42 percent about the national economy. Both of those sentiments are lower than in the past two surveys Chase conducted. When it comes to the nationality of business owners, Chase found 87 percent of Hispanic business owners expect revenue and sales to increase in the next 12 months with 81 percent expecting an increase in profits for the same period.
“Most small business owners are still bullish about their own growth, just as they were in our spring survey,” said Laura Miller, president of U.S. Small Business for Chase Commerce Solutions, in a press release. “With the holidays approaching, most predict increases in online sales, and almost half predict their customers will spend more this year.”
Some of the highlights of the survey include that 59 percent of small businesses expect more holiday online shopping purchases this year compared to last year; 46 percent of survey respondents expect an increase in customer spending, while 40 percent expect the shopping season to start earlier. Of the survey respondents, 33 percent plan to keep longer business hours.
The survey comes at a time when there is uncertainty in the U.S. over the upcoming presidential election and how the holiday shopping season will fare this year. With a lot of retailers, both small and big, doing brisk business during the holidays, how much consumers spend will have an impact on their overall results.