Follow the volatile ups and downs of the stock market or President Trump’s Twitter feed too closely and you’re bound to think the economy is booming one minute and heading for collapse amid a global trade war the next.
Thank God the men and women who run small to mid-sized businesses aren’t so obsessed. They’re methodically hiring new workers and seeing plenty of green in their future, no matter how intemperate the markets or even the current White House occupant have become.
That was my takeaway after spending some time with about a dozen CEOs and CFOs of these businesses a couple nights ago and listening to what keeps them up at night. The meeting was private; I was asked not to provide names of the companies nor their executives.
Still, no one had a problem with me spreading their core message about the Trump economy, and why — for all the noise about trade wars, market zig-zags, Robert Mueller and Trump’s latest Twitter feud — they’re optimistic about their businesses and the future of the US economy.
And they’re an important group: Their companies have market values of between $1 billion and $3 billion, so they’re big enough to play in the global economy. And any economist will tell you that these are the businesses that account for much of the new hiring.
Nor are they a bunch of Pollyannas: They run diverse businesses, from e-commerce to telecommunication to manufacturing. And because of their size, they must obsessively watch costs and monitor foreign competition.