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Small businesses celebrate good year, optimistic about 2019

Posted at 9:53 PM, Dec 28, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — Small business owners in mid-Michigan say they have a lot to rejoice about heading into the new year, but there's also a small dose of anxiety.

2018 was a good year for the state's economy. Small business optimism is at an all-time high, and store owners in Old Town are celebrating a successful holiday season.

"Once the season started, it just went gang busters. Just each day, more and more sales, more and more customers," said Susan Dyer, a Sales Associate at Old Town General Store.

"When people came in to shop, it was like, they weren't dragging, like 'Oh, I have to get another gift;' they were really upbeat and positive about finding something special," said Lynn Ross, the Owner of Mother & Earth Baby Boutique.

Rob Fowler, the President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan said it has been a really good year for small businesses in the state. With a strong economy, customers are shopping aplenty. Many companies are even challenged to meet the demand of more customers than they have employees.

"They come in and they're buying and they're buying a lot," Dyer said.

Fowler said he's a bit concerned with the economic outlook for 2019. The stock market has been all over the place in November, international trade has been rocky, and a recession could be on the horizon.

But small business owners are still optimistic about the new year.

"My New Year's resolution is to continue to grow.," Ross said. "We are looking forward to bringing in car seats and strollers next year."

"We want to continue sourcing as many local products, quality products, as we can for the store," said Dyer.

Until there are signs of the economy slowing down, owners will continue to run as fast as they can.

Official data for 2018 haven't been released yet, but the Small Business Association of Michigan will have that data once the year's fourth quarter is over.