Depending on who you talk to, for entrepreneurs the upcoming presidential election could be the end of the world or business as usual.
According to our latest SurePayroll Scorecard survey, small business owners are essentially split. Some are very much focused on who the candidates are and who the ultimate winner is, while others are drowning out the noise.
Some are emphasizing positivity and planning, because the business has to operate regardless of the political climate. Another set of business owners, though, expressed a great deal of concern about starting new projects or spending much money, not knowing what’s going to happen in November.
Uncertainty, for 1 in 10 small business owners is a problem in itself, according to our survey.
Business is Still Good
Amidst all the squabbling over the state of the country from the candidates, small businesses seem to be in relatively good condition. Nine out of 10 are saying business is either better than it was a year ago or at least steady. In other words, only 10% report being worse off than a year ago.
Is it a good news? Maybe. Maybe not. Nevertheless, it’s a good indicator that business is still good, as usual.
That said, optimism about the economy has been trending down for small business owners. But what’s the cause for the downward trend?
Cash flow, always an issue for small companies, is positive for about 80% of small business owners. Still, 38% of those don’t have extra cash, 11% say they need to reduce costs and/or staff, and 10% are operating with a debt.
The Last Presidential Election
For some context, the last time we had a presidential election, only 60% of small business owners were optimistic about the economy, according to our surveys. In the last year, that number has been as high as 84%.
Optimism this April is close to 80%. It’s a decline, but still, the optimism level is way much better than the last election.
Of course, there are likely going to be many twists and turns as we head into a general election. We’ll be monitoring the small business community closely to see how they’re affected as well as keeping a close eye on any potential policy changes that might affect the payroll tax situation for entrepreneurs.
Check out our infographic for a snapshot of how small business owners are reacting to the election season so far.