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By BRONSON TEICHERT
According to a new study, small business owners in Utah should be happy with what the future holds. The study shows that for every one pessimistic business owner here, there are thirteen who are optimistic.
The state of Utah is unique compared to most other states according to the small business analytics company Womply.
“Small businesses are going to drive a lot of the economic value moving forward for Utah,” said Brad Plowthow, the head of communications at Womply.
Plowthow is with the California Company’s Lehi office. He said most of the state’s small business owners have a positive attitude when it comes to doing business in Utah.
“If you look at the U.S. small business administration’s data, ninety‐seven percent of all businesses in Utah are small businesses,” Plowthow said. “They account for over a half-million jobs in Utah. When we find correlations between the sentiment for a small business owner in Utah and the activities that they are going to engage in that drive economic value, it’s really important that we understand what drives optimism because optimism drives hiring, it drives business expansion.”
Plowthow said seventy‐nine percent of Utah small businesses are optimistic about their prospects this year and that compares to about seventy-percent nationally.
The reasons for optimism are localized and specific to Utah according to Plowthow. The quality of employees and customers, the health of the state economy, and the state and local regulatory environments are all factors that influence optimism.
Plowthow said national themes like the health of the national economy, the election of a new president and the regulatory environment at the federal level all influence pessimism of small business owners.
For example, Womply asked owners if the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have an impact on their businesses.
“Surprisingly in Utah one‐third said it would be negative for them and another third said it really depends on what law replaces it,” Plowthow said. “Small business owners in Utah are going to be paying very special attention to Obamacare repeal.”
Consumer trust is higher for small businesses than trust toward large businesses according to Plowthow who said now is a good time for those businesses to capitalize on their strengths. Providing products and services that are unique to consumers is important, he said, because they can’t get them anywhere else.
“For the first time in a very long time local restaurants are gaining a lot of ground on national chains,” Plowthow said. “So there is appetite nationally for small business.”