Kansas business owners are optimistic, but that’s not translating into new jobs, the Wichita Eagle reports. A national survey of small business owners found Kansas business owners are the most optimistic in the country, followed by Missouri at number two. Despite their optimism, Kansas small businesses aren’t hiring.
Small businesses account for 55 percent of all hiring in the U.S. and 54 percent of all sales. Kansas ranked 45th nationally for small business hiring, according to the survey.
Only 13.9 percent of Sunflower State small business owners plan to hire this year. Womply findings suggest that tax concerns are the top reason they’re reluctant to hang out the “Help Wanted” signs. The Eagle drops that factoid into the final paragraphs of its report on the Womply survey. Nationally, tax concerns ranked number 9 among small business owner concerns.
“It’s possible that political uncertainties have Kansas small businesses in a hiring holding pattern,” a Womply blog post about the survey reads.
The survey was conducted a few months before the Kansas Legislature passed the largest tax hike in state history. The $1.2 billion tax increase retroactively hiked income tax rates and eliminated small business tax incentive, the LLC-tax exemption.
Generally, optimistic business owners were significantly more likely to hire and give raises, the study found. Nationally, the top concern of small business owners is attracting customers. In Kansas, tax concerns topped the list. Womply released its results in early May, just as the Kansas Legislature was considering large tax hikes.
Kansas business owners mirrored their national counterparts in policies they’d most like to see changed, according to the survey. Small business owners listed tax policy, business regulations, and health policies among changes they’d like to see.