If you are a small business owner, the chances are that you are pretty confident about your opportunity to make a livelihood. CNBC and SurveyMonkey teamed up to survey more than 2,000 business owners from July 27 through August 5 of this year. The poll revealed that the third quarter confidence index hit a high of 62, a match with results of the first quarter of 2018. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said business conditions were “good,” an almost 10 percent increase from a year ago. This response is in spite of the looming threat of trade wars and an ever-compressing job market. Tariffs are on the minds of many, but the challenges of hiring top talent have been a growing problem for small business owners all across the nation.

Good Talent is Hard to Find

The booming economy has given workers more choice in where they work. They can be a little pickier in selecting companies that offer the best perks and salaries. This new trend has made it challenging for many small businesses to compete for the best talent. According to the same survey, 41 percent of companies with 50 or more employees say they have had open positions for at least three months. Sixteen percent of small businesses with fewer employees have reported the same thing. If the economy continues on this upswing, small businesses will have to increase their creativity in attracting and retaining quality talent.

How is Georgia Fairing?

According to US News, Georgia is likely heading for the strongest small business growth since 2014. Confidence is high as data from a Bank of America report reveals that 81 percent of small businesses in the state are planning expansions within the next five years. The good news for Georgia keeps on rolling as the same report revealed that 36 percent of the state’s businesses are planning to hire more employees within the year. US News also pointed to a recent report that showed that $1.41 billion was loaned to small businesses within the state last year. Companies are planning to expand and are seeking the capital needed to do it.

The Lead Up to Success

Georgia’s 2018 Small Business profile from the U.S. Small Business Administrations’ Office of Advocacy revealed the states most recent small business statistics (from 2015). This small business confidence and success has built up over the past three years. In 2015, Georgia’s small businesses employed 1.6 million workers, almost 43 percent of the state’s private workforce. Also, firms that employed under 100 workers had the most significant share of small business employment. Even three years ago, companies were experiencing growth as small businesses created over 73,000 net jobs, and firms with less than 20 workers experienced the highest employee growth by adding almost 38,000 jobs. Out of all the sectors within the state, accommodation and food services employ the most substantial number of workers at over 240,000 individuals.

Final Thoughts

Overall sentiment regarding small business confidence seems to be high. Outside of federal issues relating to tariffs, small business owners have a lot to look forward to. Businesses are expanding their reach as well as the properties where they currently reside. Even the inability to find talent is a positive-leaning problem for small companies as it shows that these firms actually have the means to hire. Georgia seems to be at the pinnacle of this confidence. Small businesses are confident enough to pursue and borrow loans and ramp up their hiring efforts. There will come a time when the economy will be a cause for caution, but fortunately for many small business owners, that time is not the present.

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