PRINCETON, N.J. (8/12/14)--Small-business owners in the United States continue to feel more optimistic in the wake of the housing crash of 2008, but optimism remains well below pre-recession levels, a recent poll has found.
In its quarterly survey of small-business owners, conducted last month, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index registered 49, a 4-point improvement since the beginning of the year (Gallup.com Aug. 7).
The Present Situation component, which gauges how small-business owners currently feel about their situations, sits at 18--the highest it's been since the third quarter of 2008.
Gallup listed several factors that are contributing to the improvements in the small-business optimism indices, including more revenue, better cash flow and easier access to credit over the past 12 months.
Though, challenges still remain for small-business owners.
Among those polled, owners said attracting customers was the "most important challenge" at 13% of responses, with government regulation, financial stability and the economy all tied for second place at 11% each.
Meanwhile, the modest improvements in optimism for small businesses was perhaps echoed by a recent report from Newtek Business Services that found that small-business lending volumes fueled an increase to its overall Small Business Authority Index.
Annually, the overall index, which tracks a variety of small business indicators, was up 7.07% in June.
"We finally are seeing a small lift in new business formations," said Barry Sloane, Newtek president/CEO and chairman. "If and when hiring activity starts to increase, we would foresee a more robust small business economy, which would be great for all of our independent business owners and operators."