California Capital FDC Newsletter
January 2015
In This Issue
Happy New Year! Welcome to the California Capital E-Newsletter.  Here at California Capital, we value up-to-date research on small businesses and we want to share that information with you.  In this monthly e-newsletter, you'll find an abundance of newly released data relevant to a wide variety of small business-related issues.  This month we put the spotlight on small businesses, which are vital to our state and national economies.  In this newsletter, you'll also find a list of upcoming classes offered through the Women's Business Center (WBC) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).  Enjoy and we hope to see you at California Capital events and workshops!

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U.S. Small Business Optimism Highest Since Early 2008


by Coleen McMurray and Frank Newport

Story Highlights
  • Last time small business optimism was this high was in 2008
  • Owners are positive about current conditions and the future
  • Projections of increased jobs in coming year highest in seven years

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Small-business owners in the U.S. are more optimistic now than at any time since early 2008, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. The overall Index score rose to 58 in November, up from 49 in July. The Index was last this high in the first quarter of 2008 when it was at 83. Despite these significant gains, the overall Index is still well below pre-recession levels.


These latest results are from the fourth quarter Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey of small-business owners nationwide, conducted Nov. 10-14. The all-time high for the index over its 13-year history is 114, reached in late 2006, while the Index was at its all-time low of -28 in the third quarter of 2010. This increase shows that small-business owners are reacting positively to the same rising economic tides that have lifted overall economic confidence in the U.S. and optimism about jobs.


Small-business owners continue to be somewhat more positive about the future than the present, although both components of the index have risen steadily over the past two years. Owners' future expectations are now at 37, while the present situation rating is at 21. Both of these are, like the basic index, higher than at any point since the first quarter of 2008.


Prospects for Increased Jobs at Small Businesses Improve


Small businesses are responsible for employing the vast majority of all workers in the country, with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council estimating that 90% of workers are employed at firms with 20 or fewer employees. Thus, it is an encouraging sign for the job market and U.S. economy overall that small-business owners' expectations about hiring over the next year are at their highest point since 2007.


The current survey finds that 26% of small-business owners say the number of jobs at their companies will increase in the next 12 months, while 8% say the number of jobs will go down. The resulting +18 in net staff increase this quarter compares with +10 last quarter when 20% anticipated an increased work force, and 10% said their staff would decrease. The low point in hiring plans occurred in 2008 when net hiring intentions were underwater, with 18% saying their workforce would decrease and only 14% anticipating an increase.


The current 26% who say their workforce will increase is within four points of the high on this measure recorded in 2006.


Financial Expectations and Anticipated Capital Spending Up


Small-business owners' expectations for their financial situations have been improving steadily and have returned to a level not seen since the first quarter of 2008. Currently, 71% of business owners expect their companies' financial situation in the next 12 months to be "very good" or "somewhat good," up from 50% just two years ago, and the highest since 2007. At the same time, 11% now expect their financial situation to be "very poor" or "somewhat poor," the lowest since 2007.


Another positive indicator for the overall U.S. economy comes from small-business owners' increased expectations about making capital investments in 2015. Half of all small-business owners say they plan on making investments next year, up from 43% in 2013 and 41% in 2012.


Bottom Line


The gains in small-business owners' optimism found in this quarter's Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index mirror improvements in Americans' ratings of their overall economic confidence, workers' reports of job creation and the lower rate of U.S. unemployment. All of these indicators show an economy that is continuing to recover from the negative depths to which it descended in the years following the recession. Still, the over-time trend of the Small Business Index shows that small-business owners' optimism has a ways to go before it recovers to where it was in the pre-recession years of the last decade.


McMurray, Coleen, and Frank Newport. 2014. "U.S. Small Business Optimism Highest Since Early 2008." Gallup. 

SBA Sacramento Resource Guide for Small Business, 2014-2015
Source, 2014-2015 Resource Guide for Small Business, U.S. Small Business Administration, Sacramento.  

For more click here, including information on Counseling, Financing Options, the SBA Resource Partner Network, Applying for Government Contracts, and Disaster Assistance.


Have you ever thought of building a board to assist your business growth?  

"Why Should A Founder Create a Board?

 Establishing a company requires a lot of human capital and financial resources, as well as time and effort to make it successful.  Nobody can build a successful business alone.  Even the most successful entrepreneurs need experience, invested people to offer insight and advice.  When the company's founder is fully immersed in the daily details of running the business, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture.  Quite simply, smart founders should recognize that embarking on an entrepreneurial venture is a roller coaster ride, and a board with a vested interest in the company can be a game changer.  The board can assist the CEO and management team, both formally and informally, with acumen and discerning judgment about the way the venture operates and how it best can achieve its long-term goals. 


An effective board, composed of experienced and dedicated individuals from varied backgrounds and skill sets, can be invaluable in guiding and mentoring founders and CEOs in their quest to build a viable business and create value for all stakeholders.  The board plays a critical role in charting the strategic direction, assuring accountability, and maintaining good governance.  Building a board can be an intimidating process, but with thoughtful planning one can build an effective board that will greatly contribute to the startup's success."


Click here for more info, including answers to the following questions:

  • What are the primary functions of the board, and how does it work with the CEO?
  • Who should be on the board?
  • How does a board function?
  • How is a board of directors compensated? 

 Source: Dutia, Suren G. 2014. "Primer for Building an Effective Board for Growing Startup Companies." Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.




California Capital is excited to introduce one of our PTAC Staff Members, Joel Mitchell, C.P.M.! 



Joel has worked in the procurement and the supply chain management field for 34 years.

Joel graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a B.A. in Communication Studies. 

During his career, Joel worked 8 years for the federal government as a procurement/contracting officer, supporting 51 facilities within the 13 state western region, and served on various emergency task force operations throughout the US, including a long-term, temporary assignment to central Florida.

In 1988 Joel left civil service to work in the private sector.  In the corporate world, Joel worked for medium to large size manufacturing companies as a senior buyer, corporate purchasing manager and contract administrator. 

In addition, Joel served 10 years on the board of directors (vice president) for the Sacramento Valley Affiliate of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM).  During his time on the board, Joel worked as an initiator in developing the instruction curriculum, and served as an instructor in a popular purchasing certification program with the California State University-Sacramento's, Regional Continuing (adult) Education program.  This program ran for almost 10 years and counted over 300 graduates.

Joel received his Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) certification in 2000 from ISM, and has a Lifetime certification status.










January 7


9:30 am - 11:00 am

Cal/OSHA Workshop

CA Capital WBC


January 8


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Business 101

CA Capital WBC


January 13


9:30 am - 11:30 am

Sales/Use Tax for Contractors

CA Capital WBC


January 14


9:30 am - 11:30 am


CA Capital WBC


January 14


1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Contracting with Sacramento County

CA Capital WBC


January 15


9:30 am - 11:30 am

LinkedIn for Small Business

CA Capital WBC


January 20


9:30 am - 11:30 am

Emergency Management Part 1

CA Capital WBC


January 20


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Exploring the Government Marketplace for Your Small Business



January 21


9:30 am - 11:30 am

Sac County eProcurement

CA Capital WBC


January 27


9:30 am - 11:30 am

Emergency Management Part 2

CA Capital WBC



See our website calendar for more webinars and events.
Thank you for reading our e-newsletter!  We hope to see you at California Capital events and workshops.