Millennial small business owners are feeling the most positive about running and growing their business in today’s economy, according to Capital One’s second quarter Spark Business Barometer.
It is a quarterly survey measuring the economic perceptions and financial conditions of small business owners, and gauging sentiment on top issues and trends impacting small businesses today.
The nationwide survey revealed that overall small business sentiment is up – with 39 percent of all small business owners reporting a better financial position today compared to one year ago. That positive perspective was particularly true for millennials who were the most optimistic group surveyed when asked about their sales volume, economic outlook and plans for growth.
In fact, nearly two-thirds of millennial small business owners reported increased sales in the past six months, compared to 41 percent of small businesses overall and 45 percent of millennial small business owners plan to hire in the next six months (versus 30 percent of all small business owners).
The survey also found that more millennials support legislation, like minimum wage increases, that could improve their workforce’s financial position.
“Millennials, like every generation, have their own unique experience and perspective, and this quarter’s Barometer shows many millennial small business owners are feeling confident and ready to take advantage of improvements and growth in the broader economic environment,” said Buck Stinson, head of small business credit card at Capital One.
“Regardless of where you are in your journey as a business owner, there are many innovative tools and resources designed to simplify and enhance core business processes, giving business owners more time to focus on managing and growing their business. At Capital One, we’re very excited to serve small businesses of all types, and help them go after and achieve their goals.”
Minimum Wage Legislation
This quarter’s Barometer also explored small business sentiment related to minimum wage legislation, and found that business owners are split on the issue – with 36 percent in favor of increased wages, and an equal percentage opposed to such increases. A significantly higher number of millennial small business owners (47 percent) support the proposals. The survey also revealed:
- 1) Of the small business executives that support the proposals to increase the minimum wage in their state, 63 percent say that increases to the federal minimum wage would have no impact on their business while 10 percent indicate that it would be easier to recruit and retain new employees.
- 2) Small business owners that oppose proposals to increase the minimum wage in their state are four times more likely to say that they would lay off employees if the federal minimum wage were increased.
- 3) Millennials are more likely than other generations to cite positive impacts for an increased minimum wage, with 17 percent reporting that it would make it easier to recruit and retain new employees. Only 6 percent of gen X (ages 34-44), 3 percent of baby boomer (ages 45-64) and 7 percent of silent generation (65 and older) business owners agree. Millennial small business owners are also less likely than others to lay off employees or freeze hiring plans as a result of increased minimum wages.
- 4) 32 percent of small business owners overall indicated that they would raise prices to offset the cost of increased wages.
- 1) Small business sales are up.
- 2) Positive future outlook is on the rise.
- 3) Optimism at the local level is exceeding optimism at the national level.
- 4) Current financial situations are improving.
- 5) Millennial small business owners are more likely to support minimum wage increases.
- 6) Small businesses owned by millennials are more likely to hire in the next six months