Optimism among small business owners saw a decrease during October, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Its optimism index dropped 2.3 points from September, coming out to 91.6 for the month. According to NFIB, 68 percent of owners felt that the current period is a bad time to expand, with the government stalemate and problematic launch of the federal health care exchange website being top issues.
“Washington paralysis is never good news for the economy,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “So it was no surprise that while politicians were arguing over whether or not the government should remain fully operational, small business optimism measures deteriorated.”
Dunkelberg also emphasized the negative effect of new health care laws. Another large concern, however, was revealed to be low consumer demand. Small businesses reported slightly lower sales in October and 17 percent said this decrease was their biggest concern.
As revenue tends to increase during the holiday season, some businesses may attempt to boost sales with promotions, upgrades or other reinvestments. Slightly more businesses said they plan to increase inventories compared to September and a sizable portion – 23 percent – said they have plans for capital outlays in the next three to six months.
While some may be drawing plans for improvements in time for the holidays, access to funding remains a challenge. In October, a net 6 percent of owners reported that getting a small business loan was more difficult than their last attempt, which is slightly higher than September. Also, compared to September, fewer owners said they felt credit conditions would ease in the coming months.
Those who are determined to invest in their businesses but are in need of financing can turn to alternative lenders. National Funding offers fast approval on loans with minimal paperwork. Ideal for businesses hoping to access funding while avoiding the hassle and uncertainty of banks.