Small business optimism edges higher in June

By Joyce M. Rosenberg
AP Business Writer

Small business owners grew a little more optimistic for the third month in a row during June, the National Federation of Independent Business said its monthly survey of members showed.

The advocacy group's Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.7 points to 94.5 from 93.8 in May. The index, which fell to nearly 80 at the worst of the recession, recovered to 100.3 by December 2014 before giving up ground and fluctuating.

The survey, which questioned 735 owners, found that owners' expectations for their sales, perhaps the most important factor in how upbeat they are, improved by 1 percentage point. But still only 2 percent of the owners are projecting their sales will increase in the coming months.

Hiring plans, which are closely tied to sales expectations, fell 1 percentage point, with 11 percent of owners surveyed saying they plan to add jobs.

The survey indicates that owners, watching the economy eke out an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter, see no reason to give up the conservative approach to hiring and expanding their companies that they've taken since the Great Recession.

"Our data indicate that there will be no surge from the small business sector anytime soon," said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg

Other recent surveys, including ones taken by Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp., have also shown owners to be more pessimistic.

Many small businesses have blogs to help attract customer attention. But the blog itself needs to be marketed so it catches the eyes of new prospects. SCORE, which offers free counseling to small companies, is sponsoring an online seminar to help bloggers build a following. It will be held Tuesday, July 26, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at

Published: Tue, Jul 26, 2016