Another indicator of economic recovery is in the news this week. A report released by a national industrial/office space association (NAIOP) says that demand for warehouse/distribution/ manufacturing space could reach record levels in 2014.
The demand is being fueled by expansion of small business e-commerce – which shifts goods from retail stock rooms to fulfillment and distribution centers – as well the improving housing industry.
This news reflects a growing, but cautious optimism among small business owners. The most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index indicates that optimism has increased four-fold since the third quarter of 2008. The report also notes:
- Small business expectations for adding jobs in the next 12 months rose from 16% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 22% in the current poll.
- Expectations of increased revenue in the next 12 months rose to 48% in the current survey from 44% last quarter.
- More small-business owners rated their cash flow in the past 12 months as “good” than did so in the fourth quarter of 2013 (52% vs. 46%, respectively).
- Fewer small business owners reported having difficulty obtaining credit (23%) than did so in the fourth quarter of last year (27%). Small businesses often turn to SBA-504 financing to purchase their own building.