Annual survey shows confidence in Nevada’s economy
Nevada State Bank recently released its annual Small Business Survey to the public.
Judging from survey responses, business owners seem optimistic that the state is headed in the right direction economically. Of the 405 businesses surveyed this year, more than three out of every four businesses feel the state’s economy is on the upswing. The percentage is 10 points higher than those who believe the national economy is in good shape.
With confidence in the state’s economy, businesses are increasingly more willing to expand operations, according to Terry A. Shirey, president and CEO of Las Vegas-based Nevada State Bank.
In the survey, 46.7 percent of respondents said their business revenues increased in the past 12 months, while 15.3 percent said their revenues decreased and 37.8 percent said it stayed about the same.
“I think the survey indicates businesses are thinking more and more about growth,” Shirey said in a telephone interview with NNBW.
Also, the survey indicated 22.7 percent of business owners intend to expand, up from 21 percent from last year and 15.7 percent in 2015. As for workforce, 35.8 plan to add employees, while at least 1 in 5 respondents plan to add a new building or renovate an existing one.
To finance capital for expansion plans, only 28.6 indicated they would apply for a loan, credit line or other financing options in the next year.
While the figure may seem a little low, Shirey is still bullish on businesses continuing to apply for loans. Those seeking financing options are actually up from 24.8 percent in 2016.
“I still anticipate that there’s a continuing appetite for businesses to apply for loans,” Shirey said
Healthcare costs, business taxes and government regulations are among the issues business owners continue to be most concerned about. Those same issues were cited in the survey conducted in 2015 and 2016, although not always in the same order.
Healthcare is a particular hot button topic this year with President Donald Trump administration’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Regarding the presidential election, 61.5 percent of respondent indicated the 2016 presidential election will have a positive impact on their business, with only 11.9 percent indicating it would have a negative impact and 19.8 percent neutral on the subject.
Another critical issue that continues to concern employers across the board is recruiting and retaining quality job candidates. Slightly more than 70 percent of respondents said it’s difficult to recruit candidates from within the market, up from 66.1 percent last year and 61.4 percent in 2015. More than a quarter of those respondents, 26.7 percent, said they recruited candidates from outside the state.
“It has been one of the single most important issues that businesses have indicated and we have seen that now for several years,” Shirey said.
The top reasons why respondents were concerned with finding quality workforce included: lack of qualified employees, lack of education or training, lack of experience, competition in the market, or difficulty finding employees that are willing to work hard.
Shirey indicated finding quality employees starts at a grassroots level through education. In southern Nevada for example, he said Nevada State Bank has interned students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and nurtured them through the banking industry.
This year’s survey, completed post-election, included interviews of Nevada business owners, operators and senior management in companies with an annual sales of $250,000 to $10 million and had a range of 11 to 499 employees.
The full report can be found on the NSB website at http://www.nsbank.com.