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Confidence in statewide economy at record levels

An annual survey from Nevada State Bank showed confidence in the economy hitting the highest level in the study’s history.

The 2018 Small Business Survey showed more than 87 percent of 400 businesses across the state have confidence that the economy is going the “right direction,” according to a news release from Nevada State Bank on March 12.

That confidence level is up from 77 percent of Nevada small business owners, operators and executives in the 2017 survey. The survey also had the highest level of confidence among respondents on the economy in the study’s five-year history.

“This year’s survey shows that Nevada businesses are doing better than they have in years and that the people who run these companies are increasingly optimistic about the state, national, and local economies,” said Terry Shirey, president and CEO of Nevada State Bank.

The results of the survey conducted in January were released in mid-March on the study commissioned by Nevada State Bank. The survey was conducted by Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis.

Annual revenues by the organization leaders surveyed ranged from $250,000 to $10 million.

Survey questions included topics such as the economy, finance, employment, community involvement and the overall outlook for small businesses in the state,” according to a press release from Nevada State Bank.

Southern Nevada

There were regional issues that business leaders in Southern Nevada saw as a positive going forward.

“For example, more than 37 percent of business leaders in Southern Nevada believe the stadium being built just west of the Las Vegas Strip will have a positive impact on their business,” according to a press release from Nevada State. “Meanwhile, more than 41 percent believe the recent wave of professional sports teams moving to Las Vegas will boost their business.”

Business owners across the state were concerned about affordable housing, though more so in Northern Nevada: Statewide, more than 46 percent of respondents were moderately or very concerned about the affordable housing supply in their area.

More than 41 percent of Northern Nevada respondents said they were “very concerned” about the supply of affordable housing in the area, with less than 16 percent in Southern Nevada agreeing.

“This makes sense, since we have an increasingly tight housing supply in both the Reno and Las Vegas areas and since home prices in Reno are now higher than they are in Las Vegas,” Shirey said. “This is an issue worth watching.”

Other highlights

Nearly 82 percent of small business leaders in the state said the national economy is heading in the right direction — up from 69 percent in 2017, which is the highest level in the five-year history of the survey.

Nearly 53 percent of respondents said their company’s revenues increased in the past year, with over 70 percent of respondents believing that would continue over the next 12 months.

The survey also contained positive aspects for the jobs market as well.

”More than 42 percent said they plan to hire more employees over the next year,” according to a news release on the survey. “That’s up from less than 36 percent who planned to increase their employee count last year.”

Some of the top concerns for small businesses across the state were rising health care costs being No. 1, followed by business taxes and government regulations.

Some small businesses increased their philanthropy and gave more to charities, according to the survey.

”Nearly 25 percent of those surveyed said their businesses gave more to charities this year,” a news release from Nevada State stated. “And more than 31 percent said their businesses donated to the VegasStrong campaign following the Oct. 1 tragedy in on the Las Vegas Strip.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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