CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- While 76% of small business owners are reporting being stable or improving in the current economy, more than half have concerns of weaker economic times ahead. This was the key finding in a recent survey conducted by Dealstruck, the online direct lender that offers flexible financing options for small businesses.
The survey results indicate that small businesses are generally feeling positive about their own growth and the economy, but are not applying for SBA financing (only 6% of respondents have ever applied), and 57% have concerns about their economic future. The Millennial small business owner respondents, however, have reported faring better (95% are stable or improving), are more likely to have applied for SBA financing (16%) and are less concerned about the economy in the near term (47%).
"We've seen a direct correlation between positive economic business sentiment and an increase in demand for SMB financing," said Candace Klein, Dealstruck's Chief Strategy Officer. "After a few months of soft demand for business financing in early 2015, we've seen a strong uptick in businesses applying for loans in the last weeks of December and early January. As long as the economic indicators continue to perform well, we expect increased demand for access to capital."
Top SMB Issues: Taxes and Healthcare, not Minimum Wage
Looking toward the upcoming Presidential election, small business owners reported two issues of greatest concern for their businesses. Common among all political affiliations, small business owners agree that the most pressing issues in 2016 are taxes (56%) and healthcare (46%). And while 72% of liberal business owners say that the minimum wage does not impact their business and is too low, a surprisingly high percentage of conservatives agree. Only 20% of conservative business owners believe that the $7.25 minimum wage is too high.
Health Care: Not Affected by ACA; Women and Millennials Support Continuation
SMB owners are generally not affected by the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") and are not opposed to its continuation. Fifty-three percent reported that the ACA will have no impact on their businesses, 18% reported a positive impact and 45% say it should be maintained in the future (16% have no opinion). Among Millennials (under 30), 26% feel that the ACA has had a positive impact on their businesses, and women and Millennial business owners support continuing the ACA (51% and 53%, respectively). Still, more than half of small businesses don't offer healthcare to their employees.
Taxes: Women and Millennials Not Harmed by Current Tax Code
While taxes remain top of mind for SMB owners this year, the growing population of Millennials and women are not as heavily affected. While 47% of overall SMB owners think the current tax code is too onerous; only 37% of women and 29% of Millennials are concerned.
"We are seeing more positive responses about the state of small business from the newest entrants, young owners and women, and we believe that this will be meaningful as we enter the election cycle," added Klein.
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