Small businesses cautiously optimistic about economy

Although U.S. small and mid-sized businesses plan to stall hiring, they are still cautiously optimistic about the economy. 

As the economy improves, wholesalers and manufacturers might encounter new business. In some cases, these companies might even see an order much larger than they usually handle.

While this can provide a great opportunity for growth, an order of that size might be difficult for a small business to handle, but purchase order financing could help them out.

According to the latest PNC Economic Outlook Survey, one in four small and mid-sized businesses are highly optimistic about their company's prospects in the next six months, up from 23 percent last fall. 

Meanwhile, 58 percent said they are optimistic about the state of the economy in the next six months, much improved from the 42 percent that shared these feelings late last year. 

"The powerful engine of the U.S. economy is not firing on all cylinders, but there are sparks of optimism related to sales, profits and housing prices," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC. "These findings support our baseline forecast that the moderate U.S. economic and jobs expansion will persist in 2013."

When faced with an order larger than they are used to handling, small- to medium-sized wholesalers and manufacturers might believe the only two options are selling part of their company to fill the order or passing on the opportunity. However, that is not the case, as purchase order financing is a viable option for qualifying companies. 

This type of lending agreement allows businesses to receive 100 percent of the funds needed to fill an order they can't handle on their own, which can enable smaller companies to take advantage of opportunities for growth, such as a game-changing order from a big-box retailer.