US SMBs Eye Growth Ahead

Small businesses across the United States have a sanguine view of near-term prospects, with plans to hire more staff in the face of an anticipated pickup in demand, Reuters reported, citing data from the New York Federal Reserve.

That anticipation might lead to solid hiring trends across the next several months. The survey sought the projections and sentiments of 16,000 businesses, defined as those having fewer than 500 employees.

The sentiment was positive, as 60 percent of those firms expect to see higher top lines in 2017 versus the previous year, and 40 percent say they are likely to boost staffing levels. That would carry on the heels of last year, when a third of firms increased their rosters and only 20 percent actually saw net layoffs.

Reuters noted that the survey has been in place, at least in regions covered by the New York Fed, over the past three years and has also expanded to embrace the dozen Fed districts that operate regionally.

Other findings of the survey clustered around access to credit, where firms with less than $1 million in revenues, at 70 percent of those surveyed, said that financing was hard to come by — and they often had to tap personal finances for working capital.

Against the backdrop, gaining funding from larger banks proved elusive, as fewer than half of those who applied for credit through traditional large banks saw those applications granted approval.


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