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Small-business bosses show faith in valley economy

Nevada small-businesses owners are more optimistic about the local economy than the national economy, a Nevada State Bank survey shows.

The bank’s recent survey of more than 400 small-business owners, operators and managers statewide found that 47.6 percent of those surveyed believe the local economy is headed in the right direction. The survey, conducted by Applied Analysis, polled Nevada businesses with annual revenues between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

“There (were) any number of reasons for small businesses to be optimistic,” Applied Analysis principal Jeremy Aguero said. “Many businesses report top-line revenue increases.”

Aguero attributed the revenue increases to reduced competition and businesses reducing their expenses, which has made them more efficient.

“They are stronger businesses coming out of the recession,” he said.

Those small businesses were less optimistic about the U.S. economy — only 35.5 percent believing the national economy is on the right track and 57.8 percent believing we’re headed in the wrong direction nationally.

“Small businesses are driving our gradually recovering local economy,” Nevada State Bank CEO and President Dallas Haun said. “We wanted to learn what Nevada small-business owners think about the economy, about banking and other issues that are important to them.”

Though business taxes were among their biggest concerns, only one in three respondents was familiar with IP1, the Initiative Petition 1, also known as the Nevada Business Margin Tax Initiative. Once informed, however, 74.7 percent of small businesses said they opposed the margins tax.

The measure on the November ballot would impose a 2 percent business margin tax on businesses in Nevada that earn more than $1 million in revenues a year. The taxes raised annually would go to fund education in Nevada.

“They had huge concerns about the margin tax and health care,” Aguero said. “They will deal with those issues in a rising economy rather than in a down economy, which is a really good thing.”

About 80 percent of those surveyed said it has been somewhat to very difficult for them to obtain financing. The survey also showed that 86.9 percent of respondents find the relationship with their banker to be important and 50.4 percent want their banker to help them develop and execute their business plans.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.