War for talent shakes up small business in US

Small business is growing more confident in the U.S. economy, according to a new study by Bank of America.

The study found 54% of business owners in America expect to see the economy strengthen in the coming year.

“We’ve seen more [optimism],” Sharon Miller, head of small business at Bank of America, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday. “People are very positive about the outlook in their local economy as well as the national economy, and that’s a good sign for business ahead.”

The new outlook is due, in part, to President Donald Trump’s sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax system, which has given small businesses the opportunity to hire, increase wages and invest in their businesses.

“Tax reform was certainly a game-changer,” Miller said.

However, finding skilled workers remains a challenge.

“There is a war for talent out there,” she said. “We are not able to find qualified workers in the small business camps and so you’ve got to look at benefits, you’ve got to look at all sorts of things to attract the right workers into these small businesses.”

The survey also found half of small business owners will shift to a digital payment system within the next five years.

“Instead of checks and the way we may pay traditionally today … whether it’s your landscaper, your dry cleaner – they are talking about all-digital payments,” she said.

Miller added demand for lending is strong and small businesses also have more access to capital.

“We are seeing demand both in our traditional loans as well as our health care – so lending to dentists, doctors, veterinarians,” she said.