Small business borrowing picks up post-election

Small companies sharply increased their borrowing after the election, a sign that owners were more upbeat after Donald Trump’s election as president.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose more than 8 percent to 129.9 in November from October’s 119.8. The index was erratic through the first 11 months of 2016, reflecting owners’ uneasiness about taking on risks like loans and leases. Although the economy contributed to their hesitance, surveys showed owners were holding off any big moves until they knew the outcome of the election.

The November reading is in line with post-election surveys that showed owners got a boost in optimism from Trump’s victory. However, companies didn’t immediately increase their hiring; reports from payroll provider ADP and the advocacy group the National Federation of Small Business showed only small job gains. The NFIB did find in a monthly survey of its members in December that 16 percent plan to create new jobs in the coming months, up a percentage point from November.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet index is compiled from PayNet’s database of small businesses. The company issues credit reports on small businesses.

Awards deadline

The nominating deadline for Small Business Person of the Year and other Small Business Week awards is Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Nominations must be mailed or hand-delivered to a Small Business Administration office. You can find more information and nominating forms at the SBA’s website, http://bit.ly/2dgu883

Selling overseas

Small business owners interested in expanding to other countries can get some advice from an online seminar sponsored by SCORE, the organization that gives free advice to small companies. The seminar will be held Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. You can learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2i1mrVD.