Have you thought about how this election cycle is going to influence your #smallbiz? If you’re concerned about this issue, keep reading because this week’s Trending on Thursday has the top 2016 trends, along with the current sentiments from #smallbiz owners in the United States and advice from a successful #entrepreneur on growing your business.

Check out this week’s trending news below and tell us how you feel about the state of your business and where it’s headed.

  1. TrendingFeb25(1)A recent Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer found that potential wealth isn’t the prime motivator for most small business owners. Far from simply wanting to get rich, many seek intangible rewards, such as entrepreneurial freedom, creative expression and personal satisfaction. The Barometer found high levels of optimism (scoring 79 out of a possible 100 using the Barometer’s proprietary data model) and innovation (73). Nearly half of the more than 2,600 who were surveyed said being their own boss gives them enjoyment. More than a third cite flexible work hours and nearly a quarter get satisfaction from creating something all their own or following their passion.
  1. While it’s easy to find podcasts (just scroll through the iTunes New & Noteworthy section for a sea of featured podcasts), landing those you actually love listening to is difficult. Lorraine Sanders has an article on Inc. about the podcasts she subscribes to and listens to regularly, and recommends for all female entrepreneurs. She says, “Each informed, inspired, and motivated me — albeit in entirely different ways. If you’re on an entrepreneurial journey or aspire to be someday soon, shows like these are a gold mine.” Some of her favorite ones include The Lively Show, That’s So Retrograde, and Happier With Gretchen Rubin.
  1. Heading into an election year means many of the big influences on the U.S. small business market will come from macro-economic conditions and technological changes being implemented in the sector. Trends research collaborators Russ Fujioka and Gene Marks have 5 key trends every American small business owner needs to watch in 2016, including a changing labor force, tightening funds, and the falling cost of technology.
  1. Defying global economic developments, small business owners continue to increase headcount and remain optimistic about their future prospects. That’s according to recent data from TrendingFeb25(2)payroll processor ADP, reported by The Wall Street Journal. For the past three years, small businesses have increased their employee head counts at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent, compared with an average rate of 1.9 percent at the biggest U.S. companies. What’s more, through the second quarter of 2015, the most recent period for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has data, firms with fewer than 50 employees added workers at an average rate of 0.95 percent, compared with 0.5 percent for companies with 1,000 or more employees.
  1. What do you think is the best strategy for growing your small business? Gary Vaynerchuk is the Belarusian business mogul who transformed his father’s $3 million wine business into a $60 million empire. Andrew Gazdecki at Small Business Trends recently shared Vaynerchuk’s most inspirational business quotes for entrepreneurs to grow their business. One his best quotes is, “You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”