Small businesses are feeling pretty good already this year, according to Turf‘s surveys, as well as general small business surveys. More than 60 percent of landscape professionals are planning on raising prices this year in mowing and maintenance services.

And according to the Capitol One Small Business Growth Index, 60 percent of small business owners feel that current business conditions are good or excellent, indicating that optimism is at peak level.

In fact, “small business owners are exuberant about the economy,” says Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), publishers of their own Small Business Optimism Index. “We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting research.”

What’s behind all this optimism?

Capitol One survey respondents point to rising consumer optimism being a nice boost to small business optimism.

Second, job creation plans increased by small businesses, NFIB says, meaning the labor market is showing signs of improvement. And the number of small business owners who said it’s a good time to expand also increased. “Hiring plans soared, primarily in construction, manufacturing and professional services,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Finding qualified workers has been a persistent problem for landscape businesses and small businesses alike. At the end of 2017, it was the second most important problem facing small business owners, according to NFIB research; only taxes polled higher. Nearly half (45 percent) of small businesses answering the Capital One survey also list taxes as their top small business concern.

If tax relief happens, Duggan says “2018 is shaping up to be a great year for small businesses, workers and the economy.”

What do you think? What are your expectations for 2018?