Deregulation and Tax Reform Driving Small Business Optimism
Emel Akan, 5 Aug 17

Small businesses add jobs and increase investments on prospects of Trump's pro-growth policies

President Donald Trump, daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, and Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon (L) at an event for small businesses at the White House on Aug. 1, 2017. (The White House)

U.S. small businesses remain upbeat despite the recent gridlock on the health care bill.

The small business optimism index surged following the election and reached a peak in January this year. Although the index slipped in June due to gridlock over repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), it remains near its highest level in more than a decade, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Business owners are backing up their positive outlook by planning to add more jobs and to increase investments. And the majority of business owners expect to achieve sales growth.

Across the board, 60 percent of small-business owners anticipate an increase in revenue next year, according to a survey by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The same study showed that only 9 percent expect a decline.

America is on the verge of a golden age with small business.

— President Donald Trump

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, during a press briefing at the White House on July 20. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Optimism is still driven by President Donald Trump’s business-friendly promises, which include tax reform, regulatory relief, and infrastructure spending.

“America is on the verge of a golden age with small business,” Trump said at a small business event at the White House on Aug. 1, as part of the “American Dream” week.

He said his administration was ending job-killing regulations at a record pace and aiming for bold tax cuts so that U.S. businesses can thrive, compete, and grow.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter, a significant jump compared to 1.2 percent growth in the first quarter. And it is in line with the targeted growth of 3 percent set by the Trump administration over the next two years.

Trump said the United States is getting closer to 3 percent much faster than predicted.

Strong employment growth over the last few months is also bolstering optimism. Non-farm jobs surged by 222,000 in June, alongside a moderate increase in wage growth.

The unemployment rate hit a 16-year low in May. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached an all-time high on Aug. 2.

The regulatory environment is clearly one that is just crippling and strangling a lot of small businesses as well as large businesses.

— Linda McMahon, administrator, Small Business Administration

According to Trump, the U.S. economy is setting records. As factories are coming back, the jobs are pouring back in, he said.

Over 100 small-business owners from various industries attended the meeting at the White House. The event continued with a roundtable hosted by Trump’s senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump and the head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon.

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