Oct 07, 2018

The Numbers Are In – Here’s How Small Business Fared In Q3

Small business optimism is really booming these days. When the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released their latest Small Business Optimism Index, it had reached the highest level in the 45-year history of the survey.

So it’s not surprising that the recently published MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index also tracked similarly positive results. According to the report, the score was indicative of a rebounding economic outlook felt around the nation. It’s been on an upward trajectory for the past five quarters, with the 69.7 in Q3 of 2018 being the high point.

One crucial element of the rosy outlook is access to credit. The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index revealed that in the past year, one-fifth of small businesses applied for a loan or line of credit. And nearly two-thirds received the full amount, with 10% settling for a smaller portion.

Of course, there were also about 10% of small businesses that were rejected for the financing they sought. This is a fairly low percentage, and less than a quarter of small business owners report that credit is hard to obtain these days. In fact, those who had applied for financing in the past, and thus had more of a historical context, were most likely to report that obtaining financing is easy right now.

When the stats were broken down, small businesses that applied for financing in the past year were twice as likely to also plan on increasing investment in their businesses in the next year when compared to those who didn’t apply for financing. And those who had applied also reported being more likely to anticipate their revenue increasing in the coming 12 months.

Of the loans that were sought, 27% of small businesses were using the funds to purchase new equipment, while 20% planned to expand or upgrade their facilities. About 10% said the financing was for buying inventory, while another 10% felt the loans were necessary to keep their business afloat.

A driving factor for many of the small businesses seeking financing is an increase in competition. While 22% of the businesses that applied for loans in the past 12 months reported stiffer competition, only 15% of the businesses that didn’t apply in that same time period reported more local competition.

And, speaking of the local level, the number of small businesses rating their area’s economy as good increased to 51%. That’s the highest mark ever recorded in the history of the index, essentially putting an exclamation point for small business owners at the end of all the good news.

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About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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