Why 2020 will be an easy year for small businesses

Gene Marks

The one thing I’ve learned from writing about small business owners is that it’s never smart to generalize. There are 30 million of us around the country. You can’t just make a blanket comment like “things are good” or “things are not good” for small businesses, because all of that depends on what industry the business is in, where they’re located or what specific circumstances a business owner may be facing that’s unique to what they do.

That said, I’ll predict that for the majority of small businesses, 2020 will be a pretty easy year. Like always, we’ll have to work hard, battle for customers and deal with problems. But why so easy?

For starters, do you ever hear much in the media about small businesses nowadays? Sure, you’ll get the odd tragic story of the business owner suffering under President Trump’s tariffs, or the little girl who faced a regulatory firing squad because she tried to sell lemonade. But where are all the stories about the failures, the bankruptcies, the decline of Main Street? You don’t hear these stories because there aren’t so many of them. For the most part, small businesses are off the media radar. That’s only due to one reason: The economy.

The U.S. economy is strong. Yes, it could be stronger. But demand for our products remains high. Interest rates are low. So is inflation. This past holiday season was the biggest ever. Small Business Saturday was a blowout. E-commerce is creating millionaires selling glassware and craft pillows from their living rooms. Banks and online lenders are anxious to do deals. Inexpensive cloud technology is enabling piddly-little-companies like mine to hire people anywhere around the world, cut our rents and look and act professional with our clients and community.

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