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Outlook Positive for Microbusiness in 2015: Sam’s Club, Gallup Report Main Street Businesses Optimistic to Grow, Increase Personal Income

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Microbusiness owners’ expectations to maintain or grow their personal income in 2015 have increased 15 percentage points from a year ago, according to the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker.

Based on a year of feedback from America’s Main Street microbusinesses – firms of five or fewer workers – Sam’s Club and Gallup discovered that America’s entrepreneurs’ expectations for growth and strengthened business conditions have improved dramatically since December 2013.

Microbusiness owners also report fewer concerns about their cash flow or bottom lines at the end of 2014 than they did a year ago. Owners concern for cash reserves as a “major issue” for their business dropped 6 points from December 2013 to December 2014 (58% to 52%), while the number of microbusinesses that had to dip into personal savings to make ends meet dropped 9 points (44% to 36%).

Other annual trends signal microbusiness optimism, including:

  • Increased confidence in the future of their companies (66.6% up to 72.5%)
  • Decreased concern for finding more customers (51.4% down to 46.5%)
  • Decreased concern about access to capital (35.8% down to 30.8%)

“With a year of data on American microbusinesses’ top emotional and economic concerns, I hope small business advocates will join Sam’s Club to respond to entrepreneurs needs and help them prosper with data-driven solutions, services, grants and programs,” said Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “The optimism among Main Street business owners heading into 2015 is a significant economic indication.”

“The improving outlook among microbusiness owners in December 2014 mirrors rising spirits and stronger economic signals in other economic metrics Gallup regularly tracks,” said Ben Ryan, entrepreneurial specialist at Gallup. “Economic confidence is up, unemployment is down, and consumer spending is strong. The rising tide appears to be lifting these smallest of boats as well.”

Cost of Taxes Top Concern for Millennial and Boomer Microbusiness Owners

From December 2013 to December 2014, the cost of taxes was consistently the top major business concern among microbusinesses owners (61.4%) with even more (67.5%) concerned that the cost of taxes will increase in 2015. Less than half (48.3%) of microbusiness owners feel up-to-date on the latest tax policies. Similarly, less than half (46.5%) are confident they will file their taxes on time this year. For a breakdown of millennial and boomer tax concerns, please see the attached infographic or visit SamsClub.com/newsroom for the full “State of Microbusiness in 2015″ Report.

The State of Microbusiness in 2015 Report features annual and quarterly trends on microbusiness financing and operational concerns, including taxes and healthcare. It also features unique Mood and Mind Indices that assess the basic preparedness and state of mind of microbusinesses through 2014. The Mood Index has tracked upward from this time last year, remaining relatively stable through 2014 with a rise in line with improving economic metrics in the fourth quarter. The Mind Index has rebounded in Q4 2014 after a drop in Q3 of almost a full point, indicating recovering assessments of preparedness and confidence among microbusiness owners.

The Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker results reflect 1,007 phone interviews conducted November 24 to December 2014 with companies of five or fewer workers defined as microbusinesses. The Tracker has followed companies of five or fewer workers on a quarterly basis from December 2013 to December 2014. For further information please view Gallup’s article, Microbusiness Owners Finish 2014 Feeling Strong and download the Sam’s Club “State of Microbusiness 2015″ report at SamsClub.com/newsroom.

About The Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker

The Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker is a nationally representative survey that regularly reports on U.S. businesses with five or fewer workers, a key driver of U.S. economic growth. The tracker provides valuable insight into the mood and mind of microbusiness owners for decision makers and influencers in government and commerce by highlighting the unique concerns and challenges of microbusinesses along their path from startup to maturity. To learn more about the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker, visit SamsClub.com/Newsroom or Gallup.com.

About Gallup

Gallup delivers forward-thinking research, analytics, and advice to help leaders solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 75 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of the world’s constituents, employees, and customers than any other organization.

About Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club(R), a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) , is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in 643 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Sam’s Club, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at SamsClub.com, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

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