Kansas: #1 nationally for small business optimism

Highlights:

  • Kansas leads the nation in small business optimism
  • But it’s not translating into intentions to hire
  • Possible reason: political uncertainties, particularly tax reform

Local business owners are feeling good in Kansas. In fact, the Sunflower State leads the nation in small business optimism with 23 optimistic owners for every pessimistic one, according to a new study by Womply. All told, 85% of small business owners in Kansas feel good about their business prospects compared to 70% nationally.

Strangely, though, all that optimism isn’t translating into hiring intent. Only 13.9% of Kansas small businesses plan to hire this year, ranking the state #45 nationally. That’s a stark departure from the general trends we saw in our study, with optimists 3.5 times more likely than pessimists to hire and give raises to staff this year nationwide.

It’s possible that political uncertainties have Kansas small businesses in a hiring holding pattern. Tax concerns are the top worry keeping them up at night, and the White House and congress are in the middle of high-stakes and politically charged tax reform negotiations. The outcome of federal tax reform could hold a lot of sway in encouraging otherwise confident small business owners to add staff and boost the local economy.

Speaking of policies that affect small businesses, our study revealed how Kansas merchants feel about pressing issues like healthcare reform (hint: most want Obamacare repealed). Read the full report below.

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