Alabama small businesses weigh in on prospects and policy (Birmingham Business Journal)

Cityscape of Birmingham, Alabama. According to Womply's national survey, 76% of small business owners in the Heart of Dixie feel good about prospects this year. 

Cityscape of Birmingham, Alabama. According to Womply's national survey, 76% of small business owners in the Heart of Dixie feel good about prospects this year. 

Tyler Patchen

Health and Technology ReporterBirmingham Business Journal

Alabama business owners are overall optimistic about prospects for the rest of this year, according to one recent survey of the state's businesses.

Womply, a SaaS provider to small- and medium-sized businesses, polled over 3,000 businesses in each state to assess the biggest concerns and sentiments across the country.

Alabama's businesses are optimistic about the rest of 2017, according to a recent poll.

In looking at the general sentiment when it comes to small business optimism, the poll revealed that 76 percent of small businesses are optimistic about prospects in 2017, compared with 70 percent optimism nationally. According to the poll, the top reason to be happy about business going forward is the quality of employees. That is followed by health of the national economy, quantity/quality of customers, financial health of the industry and federal regulatory environment.

The biggest worry cited for small businesses in Alabama is attracting customers. Health insurance is the sixth major concern for small businesses.

While the majority of businesses were optimistic, that isn't translating to new hires. The poll found only 17 percent were planning on hiring for the rest of the year.

In terms of health care and the Affordable Care Act, 39 percent of small businesses stated that ta repeal would be very positive on their business. Eleven percent stated that it would be somewhat positive, while only 6 percent said that it would be very negative. Seventeen percent did not know.

Nationally, only 16 percent are positive about a possibly ACA repeal and 9 percent and somewhat positive. Ten percent nationally find it very negative and 8 percent do not know.

The only policy areas that Alabama small businesses want to see changed are health insurance and tax policy.