Small Business Owners Still Bullish on Economy: Poll

Small business owners believe there’s still some runway left in the U.S. economy.

That’s the word from Alignable.com, an online network of over 4 million small business owners spanning more than 30,000 North American communities. According to its recent series of New Voice of Small Business Surveys, 74 percent of the more than 16,000 respondents expect to enjoy sales increases of between 5 percent and 50 percent this year over last. Of those, 45 percent anticipate revenue gains of at least 20 percent to 30 percent, and nearly one in five small-business respondents believe 2019 will be their best sales year ever.

The Top 20 states where optimism about year-end sales was highest included Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, New Jersey, Nevada, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire and West Virginia.

Related: ’Tis the Season for Holiday Sales Events

The only U.S. states or territories that showed significantly less economic enthusiasm were storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as agricultural hubs including Iowa and Nebraska.

Still, business owners don’t expect the good times to last forever, and most are looking to make hay this holiday season before the economy turns south. Of those who ventured a guess, 79 percent said a recession could come as early as March or April, although 46 percent believe a downturn is at least a year away.

Others, however, think it may already be here. “Despite the optimism in these surveys, some of our members are having a difficult time with the current economy, and those small business owners actually believe we’re already in a recession,” said Alignable’s President and Co-founder Venkat Krishnamurthy. “Yes, they’re in the minority, but the diverging opinions we’ve noticed in some members’ comments mean we should watch holiday season 2019 very closely to see if the optimism holds or if more people start thinking that a major slowdown is imminent.”

See also: Is a Recession Looming?