Almost 70% of small and medium business (SMB) owners are optimistic they'll see business growth, expansion or increased revenue over the next 12 months, despite their unease over political uncertainty in Washington, according to a new survey released today by marketplace and small business platform Purch, owner of Business.com.
The current administration's plans for deregulation pleased 61% of small business owners surveyed, who note that the promise of deregulation has impacted their business plans, with 34% saying the impact would be huge.
Regulations have hindered new hires, according to 56% of SMB owners, while 33% say regulations block investment in new technology, software, and equipment. Of the respondents who envisioned an acquisition or other liquidity event over the next year, 63% said it would be facilitated by deregulation.
More than a quarter of respondents (26%) said "political uncertainty" is a threat to their business with "taxes" (32%) and "regulations" (21%), both tied to an unsettled political climate in Washington.
"Our Business.com survey shows that the people who drive the vital small and medium business sector of our economy clearly expect proposed deregulations from the Trump administration to stimulate business growth, investment, and acquisitions," says Doug Llewellyn, president and chief operating officer of Purch, which recently relaunched Business.com.
"Given the central role of SMBs nationwide, growth in that sector can have ripple effects throughout the economy. But a lot of the current optimism rests on Washington, so it's not surprising that political uncertainty looms so large in their threat assessments."
The Affordable Care Act drew mixed responses with 32% saying it had no impact on their growth, 26% feeling it impacts how and when they hire, and 26% saying it affects how and when they spend. And while 48% think health insurance regulations are among the most restraining they face, 59% saw governmental applications, licenses, and reviews as even more restrictive.
The survey ran April 10-17, 2017, with nearly 900 Business.com members across a variety of industries from around the country responding.