If the election season is making you feel increasingly pessimistic about your business, you’re not alone. This week’s Trending on Thursday reports on declining U.S. small business sentiment, which is in large part due to this year’s fraught political cycle. To keep your spirits up, we provide some new business opportunities for moms, detail encouraging statistics about millennial small business owners, and offer tips for motivating your team.

Keep reading for this week’s #smallbiz roundup and tweet us at @MarlinBusiness with your tips for staying positive during tough times.

  1. trendingsep221According to researchers at the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s Index of Small Business Optimism declined two-tenths of a point in August, settling at 94.4 points. It’s evident from the survey that small business owners are losing optimism and refusing to expand operations in the run up to November’s presidential election. Other notable results include an unprecedented 39 percent of business owners citing the nation’s unsteady political climate as a reason not to expand and 30 percent saying they had job openings they could not fill, which is the highest level on record since America officially entered the current economic recovery.
  1. Moms wear many hats: chauffeur, nurse, chef, storyteller, slayer of monsters. Donning the entrepreneurial hard hat means adding another responsibility to their ever-evolving tasks. But those in the know say it can be done. If you’re a mom looking to open a small business, check out Jackie Zimmermann’s USA Today article, which details the top small business opportunities for moms. Whether you’re a techie, the creative type or analytically minded, there’s something out there that’s right for you.
  1. Too often there is a perception of the millennial generation as young adults that are lazy, entitled and self-obsessed – especially in the workplace. This is anything but true. Today, the millennial generation is quickly reaching its peak earning years and many young adults are making the transition from mid-level management to senior level. There has also been an influx in the number of small businesses owned and operated by young adults between the ages of 20 and 35. In fact, Forbes‘ Jeff Fromm reported on recent research showing that millennials have launched about twice as many businesses as boomers.
  1. Being a business owner is not easy. At the end of the day, everything falls on your shoulders. Even if it’s not “your responsibility,” it’s all your responsibility. It’s a career path not meant for everyone – and those that pursue it for themselves can all relate to each other in some very fundamental ways. Inc.’s Nicolas Cole has compiled a list of nine surprising truths all small business owners can relate to, whether you’re running a restaurant, a marketing agency or a bicycle shop.
  1. The U.S. team poses before an international friendly soccer match against Mexico Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (AP Photo/Rock Scuteri)
    Having a great team can be a huge benefit to any business. But even if you have the greatest employees, you still need to support them in a number of different ways to get the best possible results. To help us out, Annie Pilon has provided ten tips in this Small Business Trends article, which explain the best ways to support your team and get the best possible results for your business.