This is National Small Business Week: May 1-7, 2016 (in the US)

Each year since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), puts the spotlight on small businesses to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week

That time is now: May 1-7.  And this year’s theme is “Dream Big, Start Small.” (Use #DreamSmallBiz)

According to the SBA’s administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, there will be recognition and educational events and promotions around the country and online all week throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts. (Watch the online events here.)

To coincide with Small Business Week, Capital One has released their Small Business Confidence Score, an analysis of small business sentiment data collected by the Spark Business Barometer – looking at economic sentiment, hiring plans, recent sales, and future outlook. Here are some highlights.

According to the Small Business Confidence Score, business owners are more cautious, but are feeling optimistic about their business’ conditions and future outlook.

Business owners are most concerned about the potential impacts the election may have on their business. When it comes to running their business, one in four (25 percent) business owners say their primary concern is the impact of the upcoming presidential election – above competition, hiring and retaining talent and the regulatory environment. When evaluating presidential candidates, they are most focused on:

o Tax policies on small business (29 percent)

o The importance on economic growth (18 percent)

o Growing healthcare costs (17 percent)

o Changing regulations at the local and national level (15 percent)

Women and younger business owners continue to be the most optimistic.

• Nearly half (49 percent) of total respondents believe business conditions will remain stable over the next six months. Forty-four percent of women business owners anticipate that their business will be in better financial standing in the next six months, compared to 36 percent for men.

• Additionally, nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Millennials say their business will be in better financial shape in six months – compared to only 34 percent of SBOs over 50– likely due to 38 percent of Millennials reporting increased sales in the last six months.

Read more about the survey results here.

Spark Business is offering a wide variety of special promotions and discounts tailored for small businesses throughout the month of May. The second annual “Seize the May” program makes Spark Business’ award-winning banking, investing, mobile and merchant services products and tools even more accessible to businesses of all sizes. For more information about the promotions on Spark’s lending, checking and savings, merchant services, credit cards, and retirement offerings, please visit