Small Business Owner Optimism at a Five Year High

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on February 7, 2014. Last updated August 14, 2019.

Small business owners are the most optimistic they have been in five years.

This is according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which found small business owners expect their businesses to increase cash flow and hire more employees in 2014. 

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey was conducted January 6 – 10, 2014.

The overall score increased to a positive 45 (+45) in January 2014, up from a positive 24 (+24) in October 2013. This score is the highest it has been since the third quarter of 2008, although still well below pre-recession levels. 


According to the survey, several factors contributed to this quarter’s increase in small business owner optimism compared to fourth quarter 2013:

  • Improved cash flow: In the January survey, more small business owners said they had good cash flow over the past 12 months than they did last quarter (52% in Q1 2014 compared to 46% in Q4 2013). A larger majority of business owners also expect to have good cash flow in 2014 (57% in Q1 2014 compared to 52% in Q4 2013).

  • Increasing hiring: More small business owners said they expect to increase hiring in the next 12 months than in last quarter’s survey (22% compared to 16%).

  • Increasing revenue: A larger percentage of small business owners expect their revenue over the next 12 months to increase (48% compared to 44%).

  • Accessing credit: Fewer small business owners in the current survey reported having difficulty obtaining credit than did so last quarter (23% compared to 27%).

When business owners were asked to identify the most important challenge facing their businesses, business owners once again said their top concern was finding new business (21%).

Other top concerns included the economy (11%), government regulations (11%), hiring (8%), and healthcare (8%).  

Source: Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

Are these trends consistent with the outlook of small business owners in your community? 

Originally published on February 7, 2014. Last updated August 14, 2019.


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