August 09, 2017

Even optimistic Kansans aren’t hiring or giving raises (The Wichita Eagle) »


AUGUST 09, 2017 5:00 AM

Kansas small-business owners may be more optimistic than most, but that’s not translating to new jobs or more money.

So says Womply, a San Francisco-based software company for small businesses.

In a poll of small-business owners nationally, Kansas ranked No. 1 for optimism.

“You have 23 optimists for every pessimist in Kansas,” says Brad Plothow, Womply’s Utah-based head of communications.

Next-door neighbor Missouri ranked No. 2.

“We typically saw a pretty strong correlation between optimism and intent to hire,” Plothow says.

Nationally, optimists were three and a half times more likely to hire new workers and give raises.

“That doesn’t play out in Kansas,” Plothow says.

Not that all Kansans think alike.

The top reasons that Kansas optimists gave for their optimism are good customers, good employees and the health of the national economy. However, pessimists say the health of the national economy is the No. 2 thing they’re concerned about.

“You can see they’re looking at some things very, very differently,” Plothow says.

Overall, Kansans list tax concerns as the top reason they lose sleep at night.

Plothow says there are a lot of way to look at the numbers. He says Womply did the survey because “a lot of what we try to do is understand the challenges of what small businesses are facing.”

Even if some of the Kansas answers about salary and hiring are a little depressing, they’re not carved in stone.

As Plothow says, “Some of this is wait and see.”

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