Arizona small businesses optimistic despite dip in national index
PHOENIX – Despite a dip in a national index that measures optimism among small businesses, the outlook remains positive for Arizona entrepreneurs.
“Most small business people are focused on their checkbook and the orders coming in, and right now it looks pretty good,” Andy Hann, chairman of the Arizona Small Business Association Public Policy Committee, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.
Hann, who owns Fountain Hills Door and Supply, said the stock market, which has been in decline, doesn’t reflect the strength of the economy.
“If you look at the GDP and the employment rate, you generally find that the economy is going along pretty well,” he said.
National small business optimism fell to 104.8 in November, as measured by the NFIB, a small business advocacy group.
The index was lower only one other month this year, in March, but it remains historically high.
By comparison, between January 2013 and November 2016, the index eclipsed 100 only one time.
Hann said obtaining financing has become easier, facilitating growth for small businesses, because of changes made to the Dodd-Frank Act since the 2016 election.
“Bankers are much more inclined to give loans and give money out to small businesses just because they aren’t encumbered with a lot of the rules and regulations,” he said.
Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis. Hann said the Republican Congress has been chipping away at the restrictions.
“And most small businesses are probably the key people that benefit from that,” he said.
Hann said most businesses he’s heard from want to expand, but it can be difficult to find qualified employees in the current environment.
“It’s much tougher now to find people just because the employment rate is so low,” he said.
“It’s almost self-evident that you’ve got to go back and pay people more money.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.