# Capital One Small Business Growth Index: A Guide for Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner, it is important to keep track of the current environment to make the best decisions for your business. The Capital One Small Business Growth Index is a biannual survey that evaluates attitudes towards individual business growth, industry conditions, and the economy as a whole. This survey is a vital tool in assessing the current environment of small businesses throughout the nation.
## Optimism Among Small Business Owners
The Fall 2018 Small Business Growth Index shows that the majority of small business owners are optimistic and satisfied with the current small business environment. Over the past year, 48% of small businesses have experienced an increase in sales, and 67% of American small business owners consider business conditions to be “good” or “excellent.”
## Challenges Facing Small Business Owners
Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has largely had a positive impact on small businesses, it has also brought with it some challenges. Small business owners are increasingly seeking out legal advice to understand the complexities of the new legislation. According to the Fall 2018 Small Business Growth Index, 78% of small business owners have met with or plan to meet with an accountant or financial advisor to discuss the tax plan.
Small business owners also remain concerned about certain policies and how they will impact their firms. Currently, 49% of small business owners are concerned about the cost of healthcare, 43% are concerned by tax policies, and 36% are concerned about economic growth. Additionally, the Trump administration’s new tariffs are a major concern for one-third of small business owners (33%).
## Hiring Difficulties
Small businesses are struggling to attain and retain employees due to a variety of factors, such as the skills gap, competition from other businesses, financial resources and the tight labor market. Additionally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has put small businesses at a significant disadvantage in the hiring market. Larger corporations can now afford to offer benefits to employees that small businesses can no longer afford due to the legislation’s restriction on “personal” business expenses. As a result, smaller firms are losing the most qualified employees to larger ones and struggling to hire new ones with such constraints on their resources.
## Capital One’s Support for Small Businesses
Capital One serves as a staunch supporter of small businesses and seeks to bridge the resource gap between modest firms and large-scale corporations. The bi-annual Capital One Small Business Growth Index is a free resource that provides small business owners with valuable insight into the current environment. Additionally, Capital One offers a Spark Cash Card, which provides 2% cash-back on everything you buy.
If you are a small business owner, you don’t want to miss the Power of 2 Contest, sponsored by Capital One. The deadline to submit your entry is November 3rd. The contest offers a chance to win first prize of $50k, second prize of $25k, and third prize of $15k by sharing how you use your cash back rewards to drive your business forward. Consider other entries for inspiration on how you can use the resources available to you to make the best decisions for your business.
In conclusion, small business owners must keep themselves informed to make the best decisions for their businesses. The Capital One Small Business Growth Index is a valuable resource for small business owners seeking insight into the current environment. Small businesses face challenges in hiring qualified employees, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has placed them at a disadvantage in the hiring market. Capital One supports small businesses and serves as an excellent resource for small business owners seeking to gain support and insight.