Most owners expecting positive moves in 2016

When the new year begins, many polls come out asking small business owners what they think of their prospects for the next 12 months. More often than not, the majority are pretty optimistic about their chances, but one recent poll shows an overwhelmingly rosy view of the coming year among entrepreneurs.

In fact, nearly 4 out of every 5 small business owners polled said that they either have a positive or very positive view of their companies' chances for success in 2016, according to the latest State of the Union Survey from Endurance International Group. And these findings should come as no surprise, because close to half of respondents also said that their companies did better last year than the one before, and 72 percent likewise feel they will gain even more momentum for their companies in the coming year.

What does that mean for companies?
As a result of these positive feelings, it seems that many owners are planning to make serious investments in their firms in the next several months, the report said. Nearly 3 in 5 say that they will do just that this year, though their areas of investment are varied, with some buying more supplies, developing new products, or even putting some money into real estate. In addition, close to half of that number – a little more than 1 in 4 overall – said the size of that financial investment will be significant.

Likewise, more than 2 out of 5 respondents said that their companies will look to hire over the course of the year, the report said. This is noteworthy because that's nearly as many as the total number of small businesses with just an owner as the only worker (47 percent). Indeed, all but 7 percent of small businesses in the U.S. have five employees or fewer.

Other stances, such as continued worry over the relative lack of access to small business credit, as well as taxation and regulation, still linger for many owners, the report said. That, though, is tied into how owners view the political landscape.

Many entrepreneurs are predicting a strong 2016Many entrepreneurs are predicting a strong 2016

Skepticism abounds
Meanwhile, many small business owners interviewed seem to have misgivings about the ways in which the nation's political wrangling will end up impacting them, the report said. In fact, close to 80 percent of those polled believe Congress has done little to help small businesses, though that number is down from nearly 9 in 10 last year. In addition, close to 3 in 5 said they don't think either party has been effective in this area, and more than three-quarters say Congress should do more to help small businesses grow.

However, respondents were understandably divided on which presidential candidates they support, the report said. Among the field of many Republicans, Donald Trump had the most support with 30 percent saying he would have the best impact on small businesses. Meanwhile, 44 percent felt Hillary Clinton would be most beneficial to the small business environment among Democrats.

"While small business owners are upbeat about their own business prospects, it is clear that they believe Washington could do more to help stimulate small business growth," said Endurance CEO and founder Hari Ravichandran. "Concerns about taxes and the ability to obtain bank financing remain front and center. Congress must prioritize small business issues in order to create long-term economic growth."

These are obviously issues that small business owners will have to monitor closely in the coming year and beyond, but the fact that so many are expecting good fortune to come their way this year likely means that they're probably going to be right. Nonetheless, it can often be wise for companies to have a comprehensive financial plan in place.

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