Advertisement
business

Small Business Revving Up in 2015

Many firms with fewer than 50 workers have plans to expand, venture into new markets and add to payrolls.

In a sign of a healthier U.S. economy, small firms in the U.S. will see sales and profits perk up this year on the heels of a strong finish in 2014. For many, sales gains of 8%-9% are on tap, with net profits up roughly 6% from the previous year, which started out with harsh winter weather that hurt business.

Over 50% of small firms are seeking workers, good news for both job hunters and the economy, as businesses that employ from one to 49 workers account for nearly 30% of all employment in the U.S. However, many employers will find it tough to fill openings because prospective hires lack the needed skills. Nearly 40% will raise salaries this year, the highest proportion of firms to do so in six years. Rising state minimum wages are less of a concern now as more and more smalls see business improving.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Among small firms poised to grow in 2015: Retailers and wholesalers, who account for 17% of all small business jobs and will gain as consumers loosen their purse strings for a variety of goods.

Home builders. The improving housing market will boost many smalls in the construction industry. The sector provides 10% of small business jobs.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Restaurants and bars. Low gasoline prices spell more discretionary income for going out on the town, benefiting chefs, bartenders, servers and others. That's 12% of small business jobs.

Health care providers such as doctor’s and dentist’s offices. Around 13% of small business workers are in health care, which is poised to have a strong year.

Also standing to gain: legal, accounting, financial, tax preparation and insurance services, real estate agencies, manufacturers of home goods and metalworking shops.

Getting credit is a bit easier now, but not as easy as before the recession. Bank-held small business loans are currently 17% below the high reached in 2008. The Small Business Administration will prime the lending pump later this year with an online system that makes it easier for banks to make SBA-backed loans. It’s also starting a program to lure more investment firms to back start-ups. To qualify, such firms must spend at least 50% of investment capital on early-stage businesses.

Donation-based crowdfunding remains popular, of course, helping smalls to find solid footing. Equity crowdfunding -- using online portals to invest in start-ups and other smalls not listed on a stock market -- will also help smalls. It will grow when the Securities and Exchange Commision issues rules in 2016 to protect investors.

On the trade front, the dollar’s soaring value against most currencies will slow exports this year, except to a few strong growth economies, such as India’s.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider
credit & debt

Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider

Your credit score is a key indicator of your financial well-being and of the risk you pose to lenders. How good is yours?
July 10, 2020

Recommended

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020
7 Ways PPP Loans Just Got Better
small business loans

7 Ways PPP Loans Just Got Better

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act makes a number of changes to the popular small-business loan program. See how your business might bene…
June 5, 2020
Don't Let the Drama Surrounding PPP Distract You from Running Your Business
business

Don't Let the Drama Surrounding PPP Distract You from Running Your Business

If you're so wrapped up in worry about your Paycheck Protection Program loan not being forgiven, think about the worst-case scenario. It might not be …
June 5, 2020
Thinking of Selling Your Business? 2 Steps to Get the Best Price
business

Thinking of Selling Your Business? 2 Steps to Get the Best Price

Here's what could be the difference between a lucrative outcome and disappointment for business owners now.
June 5, 2020