Georgia: #5 nationally for small business optimism

Highlights:

  • Business is booming in Georgia
  • Peach State has 9 optimistic SMB owners for every pessimistic one
  • State also ranks #11 nationally for small biz hiring intent

Business is booming in Georgia. At a recent procurement conference held at Jekyll Island, Georgia, the state’s governor, Nathan Deal, reportedly said he wants to make the Peach State into the “Silicon Valley of the south.” The pronouncement comes on the heels of Georgia reeling in four consecutive years of top national rankings in workforce training, global access, infrastructure, and general business.

So, things are good for Governor Deal and his state’s nation-leading economy. Now, Georgia can add another accolade to its resume: #5 state for small business optimism. According to new data from Womply, optimistic small business owners outnumber pessimistic ones 9 to 1 in Georgia, the fifth-highest ratio nationally. All told, 77% of the state’s small business owners feel good about prospects this year compared to 70% nationally.

This isn’t just a vanity stat. Small businesses drive tremendous economic value, and our study found that optimistic owners are 3.5x more likely to hire and give raises whereas pessimistic ones are 6.5x more likely to reduce staff and employee pay. For Georgia, where 95% of the state’s 700,000+ businesses are truly small (less than 50 employees), optimism has a significant ripple effect on the economy and jobs.

Nationally, Georgia ranks #11 for small business hiring intent, with 30% of local merchants planning to add staff this year. Our study also dives into what’s driving optimism and pessimism for Georgia SMBs, what worries keep them up at night, and what they think about policy issues that affect small business, like tax and healthcare reform. Read our full report below.

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