Businesses with between one and 10 employees are seeing positive signs as the third quarter of 2014 ends, while 81 percent expect to have a profitable second half and 73 percent are optimistic about the economy, according to the September SurePayroll SMB Scorecard.
Along with increased optimism, the survey found that three in four of these small businesses met or exceeded their expectations for the third quarter and slightly more than half said their third quarter results were better than last year’s. Half also plan to make investments in their businesses in the fourth quarter, up from just 44 percent at this time last year.
“The businesses that we work with are your mom-and-pop shops, your really tight-knit operations with just two or three employees, and a really high number of them have worked their way into profitability,” said SurePayroll General Manager Andy Roe, on the hiring increase. “It’s tremendous and the excitement is really back in the air for small businesses heading into the year-end stretch. We’ll look to see more investment from business owners in staff, marketing and technology, as well as new equipment and even office space for some.”
The average paycheck ticked up 0.1 percent, according to the Scorecard, while hiring dropped 0.1 percent after being up in August.
On a regional level in September, hiring was up 0.1 percent month over month in both the South and Western parts of the country. In the Midwest, hiring was down 0.3 percent and in the Northeast it was down 0.2 percent. The average paycheck was up 0.7 percent in the South; was flat in the Midwest; was down 0.1 percent in the Northeast; and fell 0.4 percent in the West.