International

Is Donald Trump winning over historically optimistic US entrepreneurs?

Praseeda Nair | 21 February 2018 | 6 years ago

Micro business owners are increasingly confidence over their prospects
Donald Trump’s stock appears to be rising among entrepreneurs, as research suggests the US president’s newly-enacted tax reforms are boosting business confidence across the Atlantic.

The quarterly Small Business Confidence Index, from news network CNBC and SurveyMonkey, showed a five-point increase for the first quarter of 2018, from 57 to 62 a record high and the greatest shift since the measurements began last year.

It was also the first time small business confidence had been measured since Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was approved on 22 December 2017. Reforms included the reduction of the corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent, and half of small business owners are expecting further tax cuts in 2018.

The biggest shifts in opinion were whether the reforms would have a positive or negative effect on business. Previously split down the middle, twice as many entrepreneurs now expect changes in tax policy will have a positive rather than negative impact on their business.

Trump took to Twitter to declare his popularity among small business owners.

Although confidence rose among all sizes of business, owners of micro companies registered the greatest shift in opinion.

A separate survey, by the conservative National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) lobbying group also showed the second-highest level of approval for Trump since taking office.

these numbers are historically high, ” Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the NFIB, told CNBC. “This shows small business owners are more than just optimistic, they are ready to grow their business.”

Economic uplift

However, others have suggested a general uplift in economic performance had also brewed business confidence.

In the non-partisan National Small Business Association’s (NSBA), end of 2017 report, half of small business owners believed the economy was performing better than six months previously.

“I think the jump in optimism isn’t just due to tax reform, but largely due to the economy doing better, ” Molly Day, NSBA vice president of public affairs told CNBC. “Certainly, the tax reform piece is helpful, but in reality I think small businesses are just now starting to digest what it means for their business.”

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Why it’s time to make the most of Britain’s special relationship with the US

Regardless of the details of any future trade deals between the UK and EU, Brexit could be the spark that ignites greater interest in opportunities in North America from UK SMEs.

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