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Nevada small businesses report growing confidence in the state’s economy

A recent survey found that small business owners throughout Nevada are increasingly bullish about the coming year, with 68.9 percent believing the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction and 77 percent believing Nevada's economy is headed in the right direction.

The statewide survey by Las Vegas-based research firm Applied Analysis was conducted from December 2016 to January 2017 on behalf of Nevada State Bank. The bank surveyed more than 400 small business decision-makers, including owners, operators and management executives representing businesses with annual sales ranging from $250,000 to $10 million.

Notable findings include:

-More than 70 percent of all respondents expect revenues or sales to increase in the coming year.
-More than 63 percent believe an increase in profitability is in store during the next 12 months.
-More than 60 percent of those who applied for financing in the past 12 months were fully approved.
-More than 61 percent expect the 2016 presidential election results to have a positive impact on their business.

"In the four years we've been collecting data, we've never seen such optimism," said Terry Shirey, president and CEO of Nevada State Bank. "From an historical perspective, the percentage of businesses that believe the national economy is headed in the right direction has jumped from 35.5 percent in 2014 and 40.5 percent in 2016 to 68.9 percent today. That optimism spurs employment throughout the state, with 35.8 percent of businesses reporting they plan to increase their number of employees in the next 12 months, up from 23.9 percent in 2015 and 26.8 percent last year."

The bank's annual survey asked questions about the economy, finance, employment, community involvement and the overall outlook for small businesses in Nevada.

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Regionally, Southern Nevada business owners were asked about a proposed pro football stadium near the Las Vegas Strip and the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion.

Stadium support was high, with more than 70 percent saying the proposed stadium for UNLV and possibly NFL football games would have a positive impact on Southern Nevada. However, concerns were raised about the use of Clark County room tax dollars to help fund the stadium, with nearly 50 percent saying it is a poor use of funds.

While 66.7 percent didn't believe the Las Vegas Convention Center project would directly impact their business, 75.1 percent said they believed it would have a positive impact on the community. A majority believed the project is a wise use of Clark County room tax dollars.

In Washoe County, a question was asked about the law passed during the 2016 election allowing the Board of County Commissioners to increase the sales and use tax by 0.54 percent to repair and build new schools in Washoe County. Among Northern Nevadans, 72.8 percent of respondents believe the measure will have a neutral impact on their business.

As in past years, the survey showed small business owners in Nevada continue to face challenges in recruiting quality employees. More than 70 percent of respondents believe it is "somewhat" to "very" difficult to recruit candidates from within their market, up from 66.1 percent in the prior year and 61.4 percent in the survey conducted two years ago.

For a copy of Nevada State Bank's 2017 Small Business Survey, please visit http://www.NevadaSmallBusiness.com/survey.