Despite dire predictions from economists of a looming recession, most small business owners remain optimistic, according to Alignable.com, a small business network with over four million members.
Most Alignable members polled in a series of Alignable New Voice Of Small Business Surveys predict a recession is at least six months to a year or more away.
Meanwhile, many are redoubling their efforts to earn as much as possible during this still-strong economy. In all, more than 16,000 small business owners participated in the polls. Here are the top trends that emerged:
- Happy, Recession-Free Days Are Here To Stay, At Least For Now: 79 percent of small business owners who made a prediction said a recession won't come until at least March or April of 2020. And 46 percent predicted a recession is at least a year away. Several added that experts talking so much about a recession induces spending fears among consumers, which could expedite a potential downturn.
- 2019 Small Business Sales To Reach New Heights. Further supporting the optimism of Alignable's recession poll, 74 percent of small business owners expect to achieve year-over-year sales spikes of 5- to 50-percent or more by year's end. In fact, 19-percent think 2019 will be their best sales year ever. And 45-percent expect a revenue boost of at least 20-30 percent.
- Fifty-One Percent Of Small Business Owners Engage In Side Hustles. The majority of SMB owners said side jobs have helped them either as they started their businesses or on an ongoing basis. Another 18 percent are thinking about taking on a side gig now to boost their income.
"It's encouraging to see the majority of our members buck the fear-based predictions from national economists and Fortune 500 CFOs," said Alignable's CEO and co-founder Eric Groves. "Our experts are in the trenches, making hay while the sun shines, taking on second jobs to drive more income now. That pioneering spirit has fueled our economy for centuries and it's alive and well with small business owners today."
Where The Local Business Community Is Thriving
In the U.S., the top 20 states where optimism about year-end sales is the highest, include: Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, New Jersey, Nevada, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.
In terms of geography, Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador have the highest number of Canadian economic optimists based on Alignable's polls. Most businesspeople from these provinces anticipate sales boosts of 20 percent to more than 50 percent by the end of 2019.
The only U.S. states or territories that showed significantly less economic enthusiasm include storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as agricultural hubs including Iowa and Nebraska.
"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," added 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."