Bank of America releases the spring 2015 Small Business Owner Report

Apr 29, 2015

We are pleased to share the spring 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study that uncovers the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners around the country.

We’re happy to say that confidence in the economy remains steady compared with one year ago. In addition, small business owners are optimistic about the growth of their businesses over the next five years. Many owners, however, note that their businesses are still recovering from the “Great Recession” of 2008. Most have yet to reach a full recovery.

One of the notable findings of the survey is the tendency of small business owners to be self-sacrificing, putting the needs of employees above their own. Sacrifices include accumulating personal debt or delaying their own compensation versus laying off employees or delaying employee compensation.

Employee appreciation programs are widespread and offered by nearly all small business owners. Popular forms of expressing appreciation include team outings, spot bonuses, office recognition and extra time off. Small business owners also favor customer appreciation programs, feeling that repeat business stems from strong customer relationships. This sentiment is strongest among Baby Boomer owners.

Views toward government differ greatly by generation, with Gen-Xer and Millennial small business owners feeling more appreciated by policymakers than Baby Boomers. Many owners are concerned about potential policies, including mandated healthcare and sick leave for employees. Most, however, see expanded tax breaks for automatically enrolling employees into retirement savings accounts as a potential boon to business.

When determining where to set up shop, small business owners look to local communities where they already live and work. They feel supported by residents in these communities and give their residents high marks for regularly frequenting small businesses. Small business owners also pay it forward locally by making it a priority to shop at other small businesses in their community.

Small business owners are seeking more support through lending than they did a year ago. Citing difficulty in locating qualified candidates, small business owners’ number one priority for using loan capital is training and developing existing staff. Other priorities include investing in new equipment, expanding operations and offering employees greater health and financial benefits.

At Bank of America, we know resources are crucial to a small business owner’s success, which is why we have dedicated small business experts in local communities across the country. We have also recently expanded our small business presence by hiring more than 200 new small business bankers in key markets throughout the nation last year.

Whether you’ve been in business for 30 years or are just starting out, Bank of America is committed to providing you with the expertise to sustain and grow your small business.

Download the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report.

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