Record Optimism for Small Business Owners According to Michigan Future Business Index
The latest Michigan Future Business Index (MFBI) data show record optimism among Michigan’s small- to mid-sized business leaders, resulting in planned increases in investment into their businesses through wage hikes and equipment updates. The percentage of those businesses reporting wage increases over the past six months has hit an all-time high for the MFBI.
In addition, other key indicators including sales and hiring have stayed in positive territory with no significant slippage from record results over the past 12-18 months. Many employers continue to point to an improving economy, excellent employees, in-demand products/services and a renewed hope for regulatory reform.
The challenges to doing business continue to center around qualified worker availability, with the need for qualified workers remaining a significant challenge. While this is concerning as it continues to cause a drag on growth, it is also a positive sign that small business in Michigan continues to grow regardless.
The survey also points to the apparent impact the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) has had on small businesses. With the current availability of health insurance through the ACA, a record 43 percent of Michigan small businesses now say they do not offer health care benefits to their employees. That number has more than doubled in the past year.
“Despite the challenges, the reasons for optimism are clear: business is growing and opportunities are abundant,” said Al Gileczek, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. “Michigan is leading the way as a role model for the rest of the country.”
“After a decade of MFBI survey data, it is great to learn that optimism of small business owners is at a record level,” said Chris Holman, CEO of the Michigan Business Network. “In my travels around the state, I have been able to witness that optimism first-hand. We appreciate the survey participation of business leaders throughout Michigan. It helps us amplify the voice of small business in Michigan and provide data to guide decisions of business advocacy organizations and policymakers, setting an agenda to help Michigan business prosper.”
About the Survey
The semi-annual Michigan Future Business Index has been commissioned by Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and the Michigan Business Network since 2006 and is conducted by the Michigan-based market research firm, ROI Insight. A total of 608 Michigan business executives from companies with 500 or fewer employees were interviewed throughout July 2017 via phone and web for the Summer 2017 survey.