Georgia fifth in small business optimism (Athens Banner-Herald)

According to a survey released by software company Womply, Georgia ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to small business optimism. Seventy-seven percent of Georgia’s small businesses are optimistic about prospects in 2017, compared to 70 percent nationally. (Womply Small Business Sentiment Survey)

According to a survey released by software company Womply, Georgia ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to small business optimism. Seventy-seven percent of Georgia’s small businesses are optimistic about prospects in 2017, compared to 70 percent nationally. (Womply Small Business Sentiment Survey)

One third of small business owners in Georgia plan to hire new employees this year, according to a survey conducted in March by the software company Womply.

“There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Georgia. If a third of them are planning on hiring, that can be a significant boost to the economy,” said Brad Plothow, head of communications for Womply.

The survey, which polled nearly 3,000 small business owners across the country, looked at what is driving small business owners’ optimism, pessimism or apathy about business prospects in 2017 and how those feelings might translate into action.

The results showed that Georgia ranked fifth nationally when it comes to small business optimism and 11th when it comes to hiring.

“Confidence and optimism are strong indicators of intentions that small business owners might have toward hiring and expansion,” said Plothow. “These are the kinds of actions that drive economic value.”

The survey reported that there are 9.4 small business optimists for every one pessimist in Georgia and that 77 percent of Georgia’s small businesses are optimistic about prospects in 2017, compared to 70 percent nationally.

Those who are hopeful for the future attribute the top three reasons for their small business optimism to the quality/quantity of customers, the quality of employees and the financial health of their industries.

The pessimists attribute the election of a new U.S. president, state/local regulatory environments and the health of the national economy for their gloomy outlook.

“Over time, small businesses hire more employees and give more back to the economy,” Plothow said. “They’re really the backbone of our economy.”