New York City entrepreneurs maintain positive business projections

Local entrepreneurs maintain a strong business outlook this spring, anticipating revenue growth and opportunities for expansion in the year ahead, according to the spring 2019 Bank of America Business Advantage Small Business Owner Report. Economic confidence levels remain steady as New York City small business owners have mixed views on the impact of last year’s landmark tax reform and trade tariffs.

The report, based on a semiannual survey of over 1,500 small business owners across the country and the greater New York City area, reveals that:

New York entrepreneurs’ business outlook over the next 12 months remains strong, with revenue expectations up significantly from last fall:

  • Seventy-six percent plan to expand their business (up from 72 percent in fall 2018).
  • Sixty-six percent believe their revenue will increase (up from 57 percent in fall 2018, and 7 percentage points above the national average of 59 percent).
  • Twenty-eight percent plan to hire (down from 34 percent in fall 2018).
  • Eighteen percent plan to apply for a loan (down from 22 percent in fall 2018).

Their economic outlook is mixed over the next 12 months:

  • Forty-seven percent believe their local economy will improve (vs. 45 percent in fall 2018).
  • Forty-three percent believe the national economy will improve (down from 47 percent in fall 2018).
  • Top economic concerns include health care costs (64 percent), the political environment (61 percent), consumer spending (52 percent) and corporate tax rates (49 percent).

“New York business owners are projecting a strong 2019 business outlook,” said Adam Hartwigh, small business banking manager at Bank of America. “Despite some trepidation about the direction of the national economy, New York entrepreneurs anticipate significant opportunities for revenue growth and expansion in the year ahead.”

New York business owners split on effects of recent policy changes, contemplate impact of climate change

Sixty-one percent of New York entrepreneurs expressed concern about the current political environment, though they are divided over how major policy issues are directly impacting them. Forty-eight percent of New York business owners say the new tax code has had an impact on their business — with 24 percent reporting that impact as positive. This is down from the 45 percent who anticipated a positive impact one year ago.

Regarding U.S. trade policy, 42 percent say they have been impacted by tariffs, with 17 percent reporting the impact as mixed, 14 percent reporting it as negative and 11 percent reporting it as positive. Additionally, 35 percent of New York entrepreneurs say they’re concerned about climate change impacting their business.

Most New York entrepreneurs take steps to protect their business

Unexpected or major economic events can transform a business in the blink of an eye. While most New York entrepreneurs are taking steps to protect their business from potential threats such as natural disasters, a majority of New York entrepreneurs do not have a plan to address reputational crises or challenges.

  • Fifty-eight percent have a business continuity plan in case of a flood, fire or other disaster.
  • Sixty-six percent have taken steps to protect their business in case of an economic downturn.
  • Seventy-nine percent of business owners have taken at least one step to protect customer data from a cyber breach.
  • Only 26 percent have a plan to manage reputational issues and threats.

The power of posts — are online reviews more of a trust broker or breaker?

Customer feedback holds tremendous sway in the digital era, with online reviews serving as a powerful channel for sharing both compliments and criticisms. While 58 percent of New York business owners have received a negative online review of their business, 58 percent believe positive reviews matter the most, while 42 percent say negative reviews have a greater impact.

Furthermore, 66 percent say reviews are important to the success of their business, with 76 percent reporting that positive reviews have helped generate business opportunities. Recognizing that negative reviews also have an impact, 70 percent of business owners who have received one say they respond as soon as possible to limit the reputational damage.

For a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s small business owners, read the spring 2019 Bank of America Business Advantage Small Business Owner Report. For additional insights, download the Small Business Owner Report infographic.

5/10/19


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