Maryland: Optimism high, but economic concerns loom large

Highlights:

  • Maryland ranks #6 nationally in optimist-to-pessimist ratio
  • Still, the state lags the national average in percentage of optimistic SMB owners
  • A possible reason: concerns about the national economy

The data never lie, but sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story because there are more chapter to be written. Such is the case in Maryland, where on the surface, small business optimism appears to be high. Upon closer inspection, however, local merchants in the Old Line State probably don’t know quite what to make of 2017 just yet.

By one measure, Maryland ranks #6 nationally for small business optimism, with optimistic owners outnumbering pessimistic ones 9 to 1, according to a national study by Womply. By another measure — overall optimism — Maryland lags the national baseline, with 66% optimism compared to 70% nationally. The disconnect is because 26% of Maryland merchants expect their business to do about the same as last year, which is significantly higher than the 17% national average.

This cognitive dissonance may be due to uncertainties at the national level. Maryland small businesses have a front row seat to the ongoing tumult in Washington, D.C., and they appear to be getting conflicting signals about what to expect from the economy. According to our study, the health of the national economy is both a top reason for confidence among optimists and a top reason for anxiety among pessimists. The possibility of a national recession is the #6 reason for worry among all merchants, so there’s some general concern about where the economy may be heading.

Those concerns may also be depressing hiring intent for Maryland’s 550,000 small businesses, which employ 1.1 million people. Nationally, our study found a strong correlation between small business optimism and hiring intent, with confident owners 3.5x more likely than pessimists to hire and increase wages this year. Not so in Maryland, where only 17% of owners plan to add staff this year, ranking the state #41 nationally.

Read our full report below.

 

Blog

Is flat-rate credit card processing the cheapest?

In this 5-minute read: What’s the lowest-cost option for processing credit cards Flate-rate processing vs. interchange plus Subscription flat-rate processing […]

Read More

Small business essentials: How to plan your exit strategy or succession

In this 9-minute read: When to start thinking about a business ownership transition/exit strategy What’s the best type of exit […]

Read More

What’s the cheapest way to accept credit cards?

In this 5-minute read: The absolute least expensive way to accept credit cards Ways to cut down credit card processing […]

Read More

Do I need a merchant bank account to accept credit card payments?

In this 4-minute read: Accepting credit card payments without a merchant account Pros and cons of using a third-party payment […]

Read More

How to find the best credit card processor for your small business

In this 5-minute read: How to determine the best credit card processor for your unique needs Flat rate vs. “interchange […]

Read More

The PPP is being extended! New application deadline is August 8, 2020

In this 2-minute read: The PPP application deadline is being extended to 8/8/2020 No other rules have been changed The […]

Read More

See why Womply is the #1 marketing and CRM solution used by 450,000+ businesses.

By submitting this form you agree to Womply’s Services Agreement