Small Businesses Claim Positive Financial Situation but Negative on Outlook

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 21, 2014 9:03 AM EST

A customer holds a can of cream of celery Campbell's Soup at a grocery store in Phoenix, Arizona, in this February 22, 2010 file photo. In Washington, a pivotal battle over sugar is heating up. One small corner of the wider culture war over public health and sweeteners, this fight isn't about how much sugar should be in your food, but how much you should know about it. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH BUSINESS POLITICS)
A customer holds a can of cream of celery Campbell's Soup at a grocery store in Phoenix, Arizona, in this February 22, 2010 file photo. In Washington, a pivotal battle over sugar is heating up. One small corner of the wider culture war over public health and sweeteners, this fight isn't about how much sugar should be in your food, but how much you should know about it. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH BUSINESS POLITICS)

More small business owners n the US claim that their present financial situation has improved but remains negative on their prospect for 2015. This was the finding of the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index which found that the overall Small Business Index score increased slightly to positive 49 (+49) in July.

In a quarterly small business survey conducted July 7-11, the index gained two points from positive 47 (+47) in April. The score, which measures small business optimism, has increased six of the last seven quarters.  Small business optimism is now at its highest point in more than six years, however, it remains well below pre-recession levels.

"The latest Index scores show small businesses have made gradual progress since the economic downturn -with modest improvement in the economy, healthier small businesses are growing revenue and have stronger cash flow today," said Lisa Stevens, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo. "However, we know many businesses still face challenges in the marketplace and it's reflected in the survey results. Many continue to wait for more improvement in their businesses and the economy before they express confidence in the year ahead."

The present situation - how business owners rate current conditions for their businesses - is the main contributor to increased optimism in the latest survey. The present situation score is now at a positive 18 (+18), up four points since the April survey and 14 points from the same period a year ago. Specific factors that contribute to the improvement include:

  • Small business owners are feeling better about their current business financial situation, with 62 per cent rating it as very or somewhat good, up from 57 per cent in the second quarter 2014.
  • More business owners report their company's revenues have increased, with 43 per cent indicating revenues are up in the past 12 months compared with 36 per cent in April.
  • Cash flow over the past 12 months also is at a six-year high. In the survey, 55 per cent of business owners report their cash flow has been very or somewhat good over the past year, up from 50 per cent in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Ease of obtaining credit in the past 12 months is up significantly - 32 per cent of small business owners say that it has been very or somewhat easy to obtain credit in the past 12 months.

At the same time, the future outlook for business owners in the July survey was relatively unchanged, down two points to positive 31 (+31) from positive 33 (+33) in the second quarter. In three surveys conducted in 2014, the percentage of business owners who think their businesses' cash flow, financial situation and revenue would improve over the next 12 months has not moved significantly. The percentage of business owners who expect to increase capital spending in the year ahead is the same as those who plan to decrease (25 percent).

Dr Joseph Louro, chief executive officer of Red Bank, New Jersey-based investment education company InvestView (OTCQB: INVU) said investor sentiments amongst small-scale investors remain on the negative in the coming months. He added that investment education is important to better understand market trends and make money from investment opportunities.

Louro said in the company Web site, "It is our opinion that now, more than ever before, it is critical that the individual investor come to understand the forces that influence the marketplace. We specialize in assisting common investors through this process by offering them the tools, training and confidence that is required to successfully navigate the market in these trying times."

Business owners report that the biggest challenge they face is attracting customers and finding business (13 per cent), followed closely by government regulations (11 per cent), financial stability of their business (11 per cent) and the economy (11 per cent).

When it comes to generating new business, small business owners said the toughest part is marketing and advertising (14 per cent), and competition (13 per cent). Ten per cent of business owners said the costs of running a business make it difficult to attract customers and grow. Another 10 per cent said making product improvements or having the latest products is the biggest challenge to growing sales.

Investview, Inc. provides and delivers a comprehensive online program of investor education: proprietary investor search tools and trading indicators, weekly newsletters as well as access to live weekly Trading Rooms. It delivers subscription-based financial education courses through InvestView's website. InvestView also allows new retail investors to use the portal's subscribed information on a 2-week trial period for $9.95.

The company does it through its online education, analysis and application platform that provides analysis, tools, education solutions and an application. InvestView's web-based tools were designed to simplify stock research and improve the investor's research efficiency. One such tool is the Market Point, which is made up of five sections, namely: Charts, Stock Watch, Market, Calendar and Campus.

InvestView offers five training courses that provide an incredible education in the stock market. The five InvestView courses build upon each other. Beginners should take them in the suggested sequence, while more seasoned traders may jump right into the more advanced topics that they are craving to better understand and give them the edge as a successful trader. Each course is offered via live webinar and as a recorded on-demand videos that is immediately posted at the end of each webinar. For more information, please visit their web site.

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(Photo: / )
A customer holds a can of cream of celery Campbell's Soup at a grocery store in Phoenix, Arizona, in this February 22, 2010 file photo. In Washington, a pivotal battle over sugar is heating up. One small corner of the wider culture war over public health and sweeteners, this fight isn't about how much sugar should be in your food, but how much you should know about it. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH BUSINESS POLITICS)
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