2016 Small Business Outlook


What’s your outlook for 2016? Did the interest rate increase change your outlook for 2016? Have some of the business decisions for next year changed, because of this increase?  Many business analysts believe small business owners are looking forward to a better 2016 despite the rate increase and a slow economy that didn’t see an increase in their revenues. At the end of the year though when many small business owners are reflecting about what they did right and what went wrong during the year, they are also planning about the next year, and so far the outlook is positive.

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Paid Leave Policies Can Level the Playing Field for Small Business

The fourth quarter is the busiest time of year for most small business owners. Many of them are working overtime to meet the holiday rush and tie up loose ends before the new year–which means they’re leaning more than ever on their employees to help get things done. This busy season reinforces what small business owners already know: good employees are their best assets, and keeping workers happy and healthy is key to a strong bottom line. Small business owners can take many different steps to retain talented and productive employees, like offering higher wages or health insurance. But what many people may not know is that paid leave can be an effective benefit to help attract and retain a talented workforce.

Paid leave has been a hot topic at the national and local level. Lawmakers around the country are weighing initiatives to allow workers to earn paid sick days or implement family medical leave insurance pools. Maryland’s Montgomery County recently approved a law allowing employees to accrue a limited number of paid sick days, and in the beltway, D.C. is weighing a law that would establish an insurance pool to provide up to 16 weeks of paid family leave.

Small Business Owners Bullish on 2016 Outlook

Small business owners are charging full speed ahead into 2016 despite some concerns over growth in the last year.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Business Index, which is measured each economic quarter and measures small business owner optimism, says the overall index score fell by several points in 4Q. The report attributes the decline to a drop in the number of small business owners reporting increases in revenue.

While small business owners may feel somewhat negative about their progress (or lack thereof) in 2015, The Bank of America (BAC)Small Business Report says 78% plan to grow their business over the next five years, compared to 67% a year ago.

“There was a marked jump over a year ago, and while Millennials continue to be the most optimistic generation, there was notable increase across the board,” said Bank of America Small Business Executive Robb Hilson.

With 2016, we small-business owners get another chance to do it better

For all the good that happened in my business this year, 2015 also brought its share of frustrations.

Twenty-fifteen, you’ve been a good year, but I can’t say I’m altogether sad to see you go.

We had some great times, like the September afternoon when a client called from out of the blue to propose a much bigger contract. Wow! I felt on top of the world that day.

You also taught me some key lessons about business, and I finally broke free of a vendor relationship that simply wasn’t working for me. Looking back, I wonder why I stayed so long, and I am now much happier in my new arrangement.And then there was the economy. I can’t speak for others, but 2015 was the year I finally saw the unmistakable signs of a robust recovery, not the slow gains I’d seen in previous years emerging from the Great Recession.