On Tuesday morning, the latest National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism survey was released, showing that small businesses are feeling sunnier than at any time since the financial crisis. The highlight of the report was a huge surge in the percentage of small business owners who think the U.S. economy is set to improve.
The survey asked small business owners what their biggest problems are now, and it’s always revealing to look at the answers. If you check out the chart below, the percentage of companies saying that “taxes” are their top problems is generally rising.
And that’s a good sign.
The chart shows that the financial crisis triggered a huge surge in the percentage of businesses citing “sales” as their biggest problem: basically, not enough customers. Mention of that issue has dropped dramatically, so much in fact that labor quality—the inability to find qualified applicants—has almost become a bigger problem for companies.
If you look back at the 1990s boom, you’ll see that “taxes” and “labor quality” were the two big things that companies complained about. It’s nice to see those complaints growing again.
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