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S.C. ranks first in small business optimism

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South Carolina small-business owners ranked first in the United States in optimism about their businesses in 2018, according to a new survey.

Womply, a technology and data service that caters to small businesses, surveyed 4,700 owners in the United States to gauge optimism and hiring intent.

South Carolina topped the optimism chart, with 95% of respondents being optimistic about their company’s prospects for 2018. Georgia finished second (92%), followed by Texas (91%), Washington (90%) and Ohio (86%). The national average was 68%.

Growth may follow that optimism, as 12% of businesses nationwide planned open a new location, compared with 6% in 2017, and 42% planned to hire new employees, compared with 40% in 2017. Thirty-four percent planned to increase wages, the same as in 2017.

Eighteen percent of S.C. business owners planned to hire employees in the next year, 14th-highest in the country.

Nationally, 35% of business owners rated themselves very satisfied with their company performance, a 5% increase from 2017. More businesses owners were also strongly optimistic about current business prospects, with 42% giving that response, up from 35% in 2017.

In a survey oddity, Nebraska finished first in new hiring intent at 28% but ranked 50th in business optimism.

“It’s a weird anomaly,” said Brad Plothow, Womply vice president of communications. “Last year, Indiana was the same way, only in reverse. Sometimes there are outside factors that can affect how a state will do business.”

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