2018 is already shaping up to be the best year for business in recent memory, with small businesses leading the way. According to an article by William Dunkelberg on Capitalism.com, citing the National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends survey, the Small Business Optimism Index rose two points to 106.9 in January. This survey measures the confidence of small businesses as they face the coming year, and their expectations in terms of how their businesses will perform. NFIB President and CEO, Juanita Duggan, said of the survey results, “Small business owners are not only reporting better profits, but they’re also ready to grow and expand. The record level of enthusiasm for expansion follows a year of record-breaking optimism among small businesses.” The American economy is in flux, and, because its upwards trajectory shows no signs of slowing down, now is the time for immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign investors to take the plunge and bring their companies to the U.S.A.
This year’s stunning results stem from widespread optimism based partially on changing policies in the business world, namely, reductions in taxes and regulations, which in the past have limited growth and kept small businesses from achieving their full potential. The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduces pressure on businesses, has business owners excited for the opportunities presented by unprecedented flexibility and freedom. The Now is a Good Time to Expand section of the NFIB survey was the highest in its history, at 32%, and small business owners believe that 2018 will be their best year yet. The numbers support this sentiment, as 80% of small businesses experienced growth in 2017, and 63% believe they will continue to see growth in 2018. 23% of small businesses have the confidence needed to take on new hires within the next 6 months, and 48% are offering full-time positions.
The United States is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified workers to fill important roles in small businesses, and these companies are raising their wages in an effort to attract the talent they need to succeed. A net 24% of small businesses surveyed said they plan to raise wages to become competitive in attracting the best employees. For those looking to become job creators, or to fill valuable openings by purchasing a franchise, now is the time to get a foot in the door. This is especially true for immigrant entrepreneurs and investors. The United States market is primed for new ideas and new businesses, and the economy has finally recovered from the Great Recession to the degree that consumers are spending more freely than they have in over a decade. Those with fresh ideas and the resources to start a new business or purchase an existing one will find themselves faced with a receptive audience of consumers with money to spend.
Lower Taxes and Freedom to Grow
The same trends that are benefitting small businesses in the United States as a whole will also benefit immigrant entrepreneurs. Lower taxes on businesses means that the threshold for entry into the market is lower. Although they are still subject to minimum investment amounts when obtaining their visa, new immigrant entrepreneurs can expect to spend less over time as new tax legislation comes into effect. Under new tax laws, which have largely been seen to benefit large corporations, but which also offer help for smaller ventures, small businesses will receive a 20% tax deduction and will have the ability to “immediately expense their business investments.” Companies that have been holding back on expanding for years are finally able to begin growing their businesses and making the enhancements that they put on hold during times of economic instability. An investment in the United States is a good bet for immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign investors, as Goldman Sachs estimates that U.S. GDP growth will reach 2.5% in 2018, up from 2.2% in 2017. For an entrepreneur or investor who has been waiting for the opportune moment, it has arrived.
Immigrant Job Creators: Shaping Communities
When obtaining a visa to start or buy a business or franchise in the United States, immigrant entrepreneurs must prove that they intend to create jobs for local U.S. workers, so businesses owned by immigrants are guaranteed to recruit local talent. Employees at these small businesses have opportunities that other jobs might not offer them. According to the chief economist at online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter, Cathy Barrera, “66% of all small businesses offer opportunities for promotion, and at companies with more than five employees, that number rises to 85 percent.” Based on this statistic, immigrant-owned small businesses, which must have a certain number of employees to comply with visa laws, are likely to promote from within creating not just jobs, but enviable careers. Careers like these stabilize communities by allowing workers the consistent income needed for a high standard of living. Where once an inconsistent job market led to workers taking fewer financial risks, like buying homes or starting families, immigrant-led businesses are providing peace of mind via job security for U.S. workers.
For would-be immigrant entrepreneurs hoping to break into the U.S. market, there has never been a better time than 2018. The economy is booming, and consumer confidence is at an all-time high, meaning that there is plenty of room for new ideas, new businesses, and even new franchise locations of existing businesses. For a creative entrepreneur who is willing to tap into the needs and wants of their chosen market, the potential for profitability is virtually limitless. Small businesses connect with communities in ways that many big-box corporations simply cannot. They provide the average worker chances for life-changing promotions and allow the business owner to not only sell a product or service but to connect with local culture and provide for their neighbors’ needs. For an immigrant seeking the American dream and hoping to start fresh in the United States by opening their own business, the outlook has never been brighter.