Chamber survey finds small business optimistic on Florida economy, jobs

bright-future business optimism

Small businesses lead the way as the Sunshine State continues to outpace the nation’s economic recovery, according to a new report by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

In the Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey, small businesses are signaling the good economic news by reporting higher company sales, an improved economic outlook, and increased willingness to hire new employees.

The report, prepared jointly with the Florida SBDC Network, was announced Thursday morning at the annual Florida SBDC Network Conference, held this week in Miami.

Introducing the survey, Chamber CEO Mark Wilson pointed out the small businesses play a leading role in Florida’s economy, creating two out of three new jobs. The role of the Small Business Index, he added, is to track trends and issues impacting small businesses.

Among the survey findings, 55 percent of small businesses reported higher sales over the previous quarter, while 62 percent said they had higher sales compared to the same time last year.

Despite the good economic news, Florida business owners continue to have several concerns. Top issues include economic uncertainty (24 percent), workforce quality (15 percent), government regulations (12 percent), access to capital (10 percent) and ways to manage growth (10 percent). Access to capital dropped to the fourth overall issue, compared to being tied as the single biggest concern more than a year ago.

As for the state’s future, the survey says business owners remain cautiously optimistic: 78 percent of respondents expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, with 18 percent expecting the economy to “improve significantly,” a figure more than double of that from the Florida Chamber Q2 2014 survey.

In addition, 57 percent of businesses say their business are better off than six months ago.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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