It seems like there is so much attention focused on the antics of our representatives? in Washington, that far too many small businesses seem focused on the artificial crisis politicians create and the dumb things they do to throw a monkey-wrench into the works. Nevertheless, retail sales in February were up by the most they’d been in five months.
“Sales at U.S. retailers rose in February by the most in five months as an improved job market and stronger household finances cushioned the effect of higher payroll taxes,” writes Lorraine Woellert at Bloomberg.
I’ll admit, today was the first day since last fall that I’d ridden my motorcycle into work, so the day started off pretty darn good—but even if I hadn’t, I think I would have been very pleased by the report.
“It shows some steady underlying strength,” said Terry Sheehan, an economic analyst at Stone & McCarthy Research in Princeton, New Jersey, the second-best forecaster of retail sales in the the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “These numbers are cause for cautious optimism.”
Despite the doom and gloom broadcast by the media, consumers seem able to demonstrate a little confidence, maybe it’s time small business owners did more of the same. Lest we forget, this bump in retail sales is on the heels of an increase in payroll taxes—and didn’t stop consumers from opening their collective wallets.
As long as partisan intransigence continues to dominate what happens in Washington, I’m doubtful anyone in Washington (on either side of the aisle) has the will to do anything meaningful to help the economy. Because of that, I’m putting my trust in the resilience and resourcefulness of American entrepreneurs—and this bump in retail sales for February is a great indication that my confidence is well placed.
What are you doing to keep your business growing? My career spans a recession or two and I’ve always felt like the bad news was a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least what we’re seeing a Lendio leads me to believe that small businesses are still anxiously engaged and seeking the cash they need to fund working capital, grow, and hire. How about you?
Small business evangelist and veteran of over 30 years in the trenches of Main Street business, Ty makes small business best practices, tips and advice accessible by weaving personal experiences, historical references and other anecdotes into relevant discussions about leading people, managing a business and what it takes to be successful. Ty also shares his passion for small business every week on Forbes.com.