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Small Business Confidence Was Higher Than Ever in 2017

2017 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) says small business confidence hit a record high in 2017.

2017 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

The NFIB recently released its Index of Small Business Optimism indicating how small business confidence blasted off after the 2016 election and remained in the stratosphere for all of 2017 because of “massive tax cuts and significant regulatory relief” as NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan puts it.

December’s 2017 optimism index was slightly lower than the near-record November report, coming in at 104.9, yet it was still a historically exceptional performance. According to NFIB, 2017 was a strong year in the history of its survey — one that has been conducted since the fourth quarter of 1973.

“We’ve been doing this research for nearly half a century, longer than anyone else, and I’ve never seen anything like 2017,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The 2016 election was like a dam breaking. Small business owners were waiting for better policies from Washingt

These 11 Ideas Will Boost Your Mid-Winter Retail Sales

How to Increase Retail Sales During Winter

January and February are typically slow sales months for most retail entrepreneurs. The credit card bills have come in for the holiday shopping sprees, consumers have made resolutions to save more money and blustery weather keeps people inside. Once you’ve enjoyed the well-earned break from November and December’s hectic shopping season, what can you do to get more customers into your store?

How to Increase Retail Sales this Winter

Here are 11 ideas you can try to boost your retail store’s sales.

1. Tap into information about your existing customers. Use your customer loyalty software to tailor promotions to your best customers. For example, if a particular shopper tends to respond to discount offers, you can send them a discount; if another shopper loves checking out the latest merchandise, email them about a new shipment that’s arriving soon.

2. Reach out to new customers who purchased from you over the holidays. Get first-time holiday shoppers to come back to your store once, and you’re on the way to making them loyal customers. For those customers whose contact information you obtained, reach out with a thank-you email showing your appreciation for the

How Does Local Search Work

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How Does Local Search Work?

How does local search work? If you’re a small business owner, you probably wish you knew. All that time you’re putting into your product or services, your customer experience, your social media marketing and all the other things you do on a daily business to give customers the best of what you can do — what does it mean if they can’t find you in search?

We are here to help bridge that information gap. We’ll tell you what goes into local search and how you can harness its power for your business.

Let’s start with the ‘why’— specifically, why is local search important? 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore) 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group) 61% of local searches result in purchases (TMP / comScore)

Think about that for a moment — three out of four people searching for a business are looking for something in their local area, and almost two out of three local searches result in a purchase. Local se

Final 2017 Holiday Sales Figures Show Best Season in 4 Years

Final 2017 Holiday Sales Figures Show Best Season in 4 Years

After analyzing consumer spending at more than 1.3 million merchant locations in the U.S over the holiday shopping season, FirstData (NYSE: FDC) has revealed it was the strongest in four years.

Final 2017 Holiday Sales Figures

First Data’s SpendTrend Report shows the overall growth for the entire holiday season was up 6.2 percent from the previous year, which was at 4.7 percent. Spending in retail and ecommerce were also higher across categories and regions around the country.

The data collected in the SpendTrend Report is extensive, covering businesses of all sizes in both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce transactions. According to FirstData, this includes mom-and-pop type shops. The report reinforces similar positive conclusions drawn from other data coming out earlier in the season.

So what was responsible for this growth? Glenn Fodor, Senior Vice President and Head of Information and Analytics Solutions at First Data, attributed the positive results to several factors. In a press release, Fodor said everything from low unemployment, high consumer confidence, a soaring stock market and even good weather conditions during the shopping season were in part responsible.

He added, “Consumers were out in full force during t

Small Business Lending On the Rise Report Says

November 2017 Small Business Lending Index: Small Business Lending On the Rise

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index is reporting small business lending is on the rise. The November 2017 Small Business Lending Index rose 4.1 percent to 138.7, and compared to 2016, it was up more than 7 percent.

November 2017 Small Business Lending Index

The Small Business Lending Index measures the number of small business loans issued over the past 30 days. The index also includes data on which industry sectors are seeing the highest number of lending increases, along with approval, delinquency and default rates.

Economic conditions affect small businesses much faster than they do large enterprises. By measuring new commercial loans and leases to small businesses, the Small Business Lending Index provides early warning signals by gauging small business financial stress and default risk. The index is an indicator of the US GDP by 2 to 5 months, showing where the economy stands in the business cycle.

The index is used by the US commercial credit industry as a risk management tool and market insight, but the information is applicable to anyone looking to get insights into the U.S. economy.

The higher economic indicators being reported now also translate to more loans being approved. PayNet President William Phelan said in a press release,



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