According to the National Federation of Independent Business, a recent poll of over 600 small business owners determined that small business optimism has hit its highest level since 2004. These small business owners feel that business conditions will get better and that sales will increase by 20%. This is great news for speakers looking for sponsorship as businesses think that now is the time for them to expand. In fact, 36% expect to add jobs.

Community banks have seen more requests for business loans, and earlier in the year than normal. Banking regulation reform will bring relief to small community banks, who in turn will be lending more to main street.

Even though arts, education, entertainment, and cause sponsorship still only makes up around 25% of the sponsorship pie, it’s still good news for speakers seeking sponsorship. Unlike large corporations, small business owners spend less on sports and more on arts and education. In fact, the sponsorship pie is most likely flipped, where only 25% of small business sponsorship is in sports, mainly local community sports.

When small businesses are flush¬†with cash, they¬†need artists and other creatives even more. Whether it’s graphic artists to help with website design or advertising, or speakers who promote them to a targeted audience, this is good news for artists of all kinds.

One trend has been around lately and will continue into the future. Sponsors are asking for more customization from sponsees. It’s not a bad thing, it just means that you have to up your game if you want to attract a sponsor. Small business sponsorship is much less competitive than large corporate sponsorship, but sponsorship in general is still a competitive game.

Even with more cash to spend in an improving business environment, that doesn’t mean small businesses want to waste money. They still want to get the most bang for their buck, and sponsorship is a great way to do that. You are putting them in front of their target audience for less than it would cost for advertising in many cases.

Business optimism leads to more innovation, and business owners being open to new ideas. Now is the time to start adding sponsorship to your portfolio of ways to make money as a speaker.