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Dear NAWBO members,

Last month, we released the fall 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, where small business optimism is at its highest since the survey’s inception in 2012, with expectations for revenue growth and plans to hire hitting a three-year high.

The report, based on a semi-annual survey of 1,000 small business owners across the country, revealed that 72 percent expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, compared with 62 percent a year ago. In addition, more small businesses expect to increase staffing, with 67 percent planning to hire more employees over the next 12 months, up significantly from 51 percent in the fall of 2014 and 31 percent in the fall of 2013. Other key findings include:    

Small business owners are strongly optimistic about the economy, revenue and hiring, and more are applying for loans

  • Sixty-two percent expressed optimism for their local economies (a 12 percentage point rise year over year)
  • More than one in three (35 percent) small business owners say they will apply for a loan in 2016, an 11 percentage point increase over one year ago

Small businesses are shifting company culture, embracing a Millennial mindset

  • Game rooms, nap pods and pets are making their debut in small business workplaces
  • Company cultures are becoming more collaborative and flexible, with a significant increase in telecommuting, flex time and paid maternity and paternity leave

Small business owners are cautiously investing in new technology, saying personal interaction with customers is key

  • Ninety-three percent feel changing technology has helped their businesses, and 85 percent are willing to adopt new technologies in their businesses
  • Although 66 percent say they are prepared for a cybersecurity breach, 12 percent have been the victim of cybersecurity breach

The report also analyzed the mindset of small business owners in nine local markets across the country, including:

  • Like their national counterparts, most small business owners in a number of markets are planning for growth over the next five years. Small business owners in Washington, D.C. (81 percent), Miami (80 percent) and Dallas/Fort Worth (78 percent) plan to grow their business over the next five years. Additionally, small business owners in Atlanta (73 percent), San Francisco (71 percent) and Metro New York (70 percent) expect their revenues to increase in the next year.

I’ve provided links to the press release, the report and a gender-specific breakdown of the data for your convenience. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jill Calabrese Bain
Managing Director
Bank of America Small Business Field Sales executive

 

Read the press release here: “Main Street Is Open for Business: Bank of America Survey Reveals Strong Economic Outlook Among Small Business Owners”

Read the gender-specific breakdown of the data here »

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