The latest Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index indicated that now the election is decided, the small business sector is most concerned with the impact of regulations, the affordable healthcare law and higher taxes.

According to PayNet, small businesses have far less options for dealing with new policies because they lack the expertise, deep pockets and don’t operate overseas. Some sectors will deal with them better than others. Some geographic regions of the U.S. will see higher business failures than others.

Highlights of the index include:

The U.S. economy is on the cusp of becoming a hotspot of growth.

  • Small business investment back to normal levels of 10% produces big returns.

  • Risk taking is all-time lows but can easily rise without derailing banks.

  • Parts of energy and manufacturing are showing ability to be new industry leaders.

    Business wants stability because knowing the ground rules make all the difference.

  • Higher tax rates can be planned for.

  • Affordable healthcare act adds administrative costs but can be managed with technology.

  • Deficits reduction helps business confidence.

    Small business investment is poised to ignite economic growth.

  • Cash on balance sheets makes up over 7% of corporate assets, the highest since the 1960s.

  • Business investment unleashes higher productivity.

  • This year small business investment has been poor at -3% in 2012.

    Investment at 10% increases is the long-term average.

  • PayNet estimates consistent 10% business investment increase means 14% investment returns.

  • 2010 saw a 20% jump and 2011 a 16% jump.

  • So a 10% consistent increase in business investment is possible.

    Muted risk taking dampens economic growth.

  • Loans past due stand at all-time lows of 1.20%.

  • Business failures will reach new lows of 1.6% in 2012.

  • Rising loan delinquencies and business failures is a healthy process for the economy.

    New industry leadership needed.

  • Agriculture carried the growth during the recession.

  • Industrial manufacturers are providing solid investment to expand at 15% year over year.

  • Investment in Energy is moving at a healthy 7% rate.

  • Particularly hard hit is Transportation Equipment Manufacturing because orders are so low.

    Small business borrowing activity rebounded from last month’s dip.

  • Business investment has been dormant for most of 2012.

  • For most months the investment index stood lower than its 2005 level.

    Financial health of small businesses remains high.

  • Moderate loan past dues fell 3 basis points to all-time lows again.

  • 30 days past due stands at 1.20%.

  • 90 days past due shows high credit quality of businesses with only .24% past dues.

  • A sharp jump in capital spending shows opportunities exist for profitable projects.