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Bank of America releases the 2022 Small Business Owner Report

Bank of America is excited to present the results of our 2022 Small Business Owner Report, the 10th anniversary edition of our annual study exploring the perspectives, aspirations and concerns of entrepreneurs around the country.

This year’s report finds a steady stream of new challenges for business owners, but they’re remaining resilient and anticipate revenue increases and opportunities for expansion in 2022. As business owners look ahead to next few months, consumer spending will continue to play a key role in driving recovery from pandemic losses.

While business confidence is on the rise, entrepreneurs are wary of the short- and long-term impact of multiple economic forces. Confidence in the national and local economy dropped year-over-year, and rising inflation and supply chain disruptions continue to generate headwinds for business owners and drive operational changes. Meanwhile, business owners are continuing to prioritize attracting new talent and retaining existing employees, as hiring plans have rebounded to their highest level since fall 2018.

Looking longer term, entrepreneurs anticipate that emerging technologies, such as cybersecurity, 5G and automation, will become increasingly important to business success. Many business owners are also adopting digital tools at a higher rate to aid in their business operations, including online banking and cashless payments.

As they reflect on the past 10 years of business ownership, entrepreneurs acknowledge a challenging but rewarding decade. Most business owners agree that business ownership has become more difficult, but community and family support continue to play a key role in keeping business owners passionate and excited for the future.

Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out, Bank of America is committed to helping provide you with the resources necessary to manage, sustain and grow your business.

Continuing the Family Legacy

Elissa Montilio in bakery

What began as a high school job at her family’s business became a career for Elissa Montilio in 2011. Today, Elissa manages operations as the Vice President of Montilio’s Baking Company, a bakery with a 75-year history in the Greater Boston area.

Nearly 10 years ago, Bank of America profiled Montilio’s as the first Small Business Owner Report (SBOR) Client Spotlight, and the years between have been marked by new challenges, growth and expansion. Montilio’s has increased its revenue and expanded operations, growing from a Small Business client to a Business Banking client, now working with a Bank of America Relationship Manager who provides strategic financial advice and solutions. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the SBOR and explore the journey and successes of a long-term client, the spotlight is once again on Montilio’s.

With six bakeries across Massachusetts and additional wholesale and retail partnerships in local grocery stores and restaurants, the bakery has made a name for itself statewide. Additionally, Montilio’s is expanding nationwide, fueled by online sales and a partnership with the online food marketplace, Goldbelly.

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Though business is booming in 2022, the pandemic significantly impacted Montilio’s traditional revenue streams, leading the company to pursue new clients, products and partners. Elissa sees these changes lasting for years, with more people opting for smaller capacity, nontraditional weddings and events. “Even though some doors close, we have a lot of other opportunities coming to us,” Elissa said.

While Montilio’s lost some of its biggest wholesale clients and wedding orders have dipped, they recently gained new, strong accounts with hotels, grocery stores and D’Angelo sandwich shops, and are bolstering their offerings. Montilio’s expanded its departments over the past decade to supplement their revenue, including unique options like a mobile wood-fired pizza oven to bring authentic Italian pizza and pastries to local events.

Man decorates cake in bakery

Now, Montilio’s is focusing on the essentials. “We’ve grown so much, we just want to go back to our roots and perfect what we have and take care of the customers that we have.” Elissa said. “As you expand, there are growing pains, so we’re trying to overcome those this year.”

Though Montilio’s still identifies as a “mom and pop shop,” it’s modernized its technology to improve efficiency and security and take advantage of digital tools, like online banking and payments.

Looking ahead to the next decade, Elissa says she is ready for the challenge of taking over the family business and has no plans to sell the bakery. “We’ve built this brand up to where it is today and it’s amazing,” Elissa said. “It’s been part of my grandfather’s legacy, so to keep this going for the next 10 years would mean the world to my family.”

As Elissa reflects on the growth the bakery has seen over the years, she advises small business owners to take every opportunity presented to them and be proud of where they are. “I know it’s tough for everybody out there and we’re all going through the same struggles,” said Elissa, “but I hope anyone who owns a small business is proud to say that they do.”