(CBS) — Wall Street performed well in recent months, but it’s said the economy won’t truly recover until smaller businesses on Main Street feel they’ve turned a corner.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has word that a growing number feel they have.READ MORE: South Shore Woman Sees Police Activity After Shooting Leaves Man Dead, Only To Find Out It Was Her Own Beloved Brother
We’re not talking about record profits for these small businesses. It’s more about a confident feeling that the economy is chugging along at a pace where they can expand.
The owners at Drift Eyewear say the 2015 economy is looking good.
“I am very optimistic. There are a lot of amazing things happening,” Chris Mantz says. “We’re actually hiring across all different departments right now.”
Drift’s wooden eyewear sells globally for upwards of $450 a pair. Only three years old, the West Loop company’s three artisans now work double shifts just to get the product out the door. It was a different story when the company started.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Patchy Frost Well Inland
“The economy was impossible. No one was buying anything. It was really hard to get a loan,” Mantz says.
More small business owners on Main Street, the backbone of the American economy, appear to be increasingly optimistic about the future.
A Wall Street Journal survey shows 50 percent of small businesses feel economic conditions are improving for 2015. That is up considerably from last year’s 38 percent.
Anderson’s bookstall operates stores in Downers Grove and Naperville. Now, the family-owned company is expanding into a brand-new space in LaGrange, creating more than a dozen new jobs.
Becky Anderson says customers are more willing to spend money these days. That’s good, because the dollars spent at her company’s stores circulate locally.MORE NEWS: Constituent Says She And Others Were Kicked Out Virtual Meeting With Embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner, And Alderman Isn't Providing Answers
These business owners aren’t seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, either. They know the U.S. recovery is still fragile enough that a world crisis—anything from a terror attack to a major spike in oil prices—could impact their confidence.