Small Business Owner Optimism Returns to Pre-Recession Levels According to New Amex OPEN Research


Today American Express OPEN released results from the Fall 2014 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor which shows that small business owners’ optimism on business prospects and the economy continue to rise. In fact, 63% of entrepreneurs maintain a positive outlook, a level not reached since fall of 2007 (64%).



Now in its 13th year, the semi-annual survey captures a snapshot of small business owner sentiment and plans for the future while providing segmentation by industry, gender and geography.


Top level findings include:

  • 57% of small business owners plan to make capital investments over the next six months (compared to 55% in the spring, 54% last fall and 50% last spring )
  • 42% of entrepreneurs say their revenues are higher when compared to a year ago
  • 79% of business owners are increasingly confident they can access the capital they need to grow their businesses (up from 72% six months ago)
  • Cash flow concerns are easing (43%, down from 49% this spring).


To set their businesses apart from the competition, a majority of business owners say they will place a heightened focus on better serving their clients (85%, up from 78% this spring). As they further sharpen their focus on customers, an increasing number are analyzing data for their business (69%, up from 65% in the spring).  Small businesses main reasons for implementing data analytics include:

  • Improve current products/services (72%)
  • Make key business decisions (66%)
  • Boost efficiency (65%)
  • Identify ideas for marketing (58%)
  • Identify opportunities for new products (52%)
  • Track loyalty/rewards usage (37%)

In addition the semi-annual Small Business Monitor includes a Success Index to identify commonalities across successful businesses that can provide lessons for any small business. The index profiles four groups of entrepreneurs: High Achievers, Strivers, Sustainers and Strugglers.


A news release outlining the complete results of the survey and its methodology is available here:


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Meridith Dennes is a co-founder and the CEO of Project Eve LLC, a leading women's lifestyle media company online including some of the web's best loved communities including the eponymous Project Eve, Getting Balance, Project Eve Moms, Project Eve Money and Scary Puppy Silly Kitty. With a digital readership in excess of 20+ million monthly uniques, and over 1 million social media followers, Project Eve provides the news and resources to inspire and empower women. Meridith also works as a digital consultant and social media strategist and has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to help increase brand awareness and improve social media engagement.Meridith holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Prior to founding Project Eve, she spent 15 years working in investment banking. Meridith currently lives in Vermont with her husband and 2 daughters and spends her free time teaching skiing, practicing yoga, hiking and snowshoeing.