Small Business Owners Continue to Be Optimistic About 2013, Yet Concerns About the Economy Remain


Small Business Owners Continue to Be Optimistic About 2013, Yet Concerns About the Economy Remain

Fall 2012 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Examines Relationships With Large Businesses, Impact of Black Friday and Attitudes About Owning a Small Business

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Bank of America today released its fall 2012 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The survey found the majority of small business owners are planning on sustaining or growing their business over the next 12 months, as 31 percent plan on hiring more employees, while 56 percent anticipate their staffing needs will remain consistent.

More than half of the small business owners surveyed anticipate that revenue will increase in 2013, while only seven percent expect revenue to decline. However, this optimism is tempered by their views on the economy. Small business owners are wary about the health of the overall economy. Only one-third (34 percent) are confident that the national economy will improve over the next 12 months, and 38 percent believe their local economy will improve in the same time period.

"Small businesses are critical to the growth of economy," said Dean Athanasia, Preferred and Small Business executive at Bank of America. "Heading into 2013, small business owners have a high level of confidence in their ability to build and sustain a successful business. We must continue to fuel this confidence by providing the specialized services and support small business owners need to stay focused on thriving in an uncertain economic environment."

Other insights small business owners shared in the survey include:

  • Small business owners continue to be excited about owning their own business. When asked if they have had second thoughts about their decision to become a small business owner, two-thirds (66 percent) say they have never regretted the decision to go into business.

  • Small business owners see little to no benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Ninety-one percent of small business owners say that Black Friday has either a minor or no impact on their business's bottom line, and 81 percent believe Cyber Monday is overhyped and has no significance to their bottom line.

  • Less than one in five (17 percent) respondents view larger businesses solely as their biggest competitors. Seventy-nine percent indicate they have larger businesses as customers, and 31 percent say that larger businesses motivate them to become better small business owners.

  • 70 percent of small business owners believe they have enough access to capital to run their business effectively, and only 16 percent said that they applied for a business loan over the past year. Despite their optimistic views for the coming year, 78 percent do not intend to apply for a business loan in 2013.

Only 29 percent of small business owners describe themselves as "very savvy" regarding financial matters. When seeking advice, they tap into a broad network for help, including accountants/bookkeepers (75 percent), other small businesses (50 percent), financial advisors (48 percent) and friends/family (40 percent).

"While most small businesses surveyed have enough capital to run their business, they continue to need counsel on how to put their money to work effectively," said Robb Hilson, Small Business executive at Bank of America. "Small business owners are looking for expertise from their bank as well as other sources so they can make the right decisions for their business heading into 2013."

Bank of America has a long history of serving the small business community - providing clients with customized product solutions but also the personal touch of small business experts and specialists. Bank of America is in the final stages of hiring approximately 1,000 small business bankers across the country. These bankers will serve as a dedicated resource for small business owners, helping them assess their companies' deposit, credit and cash management needs. In addition, Bank of America continues to actively lend to small businesses across the U.S. Through September of this year, Bank of America extended more than $6.2 billion in new credit to small businesses - an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year. In addition, combined new and renewal small business lending totaled $14.9 billion.

For a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation's small business owners, please read the entire fall 2012 Bank of AmericaSmall Business Owner Report.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report

Braun Research conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by phone between Sept. 9 and Oct. 7, 2012 on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,003 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between 2 and 99 employees. In addition, 300 small business owners were also surveyed in nine target markets: Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami. The margin of error for the national sample is +/- 3.1 percent for the oversampled markets, with both reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 55 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,500 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to more than 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYS: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.

The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf of Bank of America and interpretations in this release are not intended, nor implied, to be a substitute for the professional advice received from a qualified accountant, attorney or financial advisor. Always seek the advice of an accountant, attorney or financial advisor with any questions you may have regarding the decisions you undertake as a result of reviewing the information contained herein. Nothing in this report should be construed as either advice or legal opinion.

© 2012 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Reporters May Contact:
Don Vecchiarello, Bank of America, 1.980.387.4899

KEYWORDS: United States North America North Carolina


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