You can put together a ton of polls on small businesses, their sense of optimism and how they plan to use operating capital financing solutions to keep things rolling. But the best way to get a sense of how they’re feeling about the economy may very well be in what happens with their prices.
The Financial Times reported yesterday that a net of 5 percent of small businesses across the country raised their prices in February. Not only does that mean that more businesses are raising prices than cutting them, it’s also the first time in the last 26 months that it has happened. This is undeniably good news from a business perspective.
For those who haven’t raised prices yet, according to the Financial Times, a majority said they planned to in the near future. Those increases were expected to stick, as well, in contrast to many other times during the recession.
As a reporter for the last three years before moving on to (Direct Capital/Biz Engine), I’ve seen the struggles of small business firsthand. I can clearly recall interviewing one small business owner in southern Maine, suffering from the economic downturn and the rapid deterioration of a local bridge his customers heavily relied on, and there was legitimate fear in his eyes as we talked.
It was a heartbreaking time to be a small business owner, and if it’s finally fading away, we should all be celebrating.
It also adds credence to the idea that inflation is beginning to pick up, something that’s been discussed with increasing volume in the last couple of months.
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Photo credit to guitargoa at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1239215