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Atlanta Small Business Owner Optimism Is on the Rise

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Atlanta small business owners are more optimistic about their own revenue growth and their local economy according to the fall 2014 Small Business Owner Report, released today by Bank of America. When asked about their growth prospects, 67 percent of Atlanta respondents said they expect their revenue to increase over the next 12 months, up from 53 percent a year ago. In addition, 49 percent plan to hire staff in the next year, compared to 26 percent last year. When asked about their local economy, Atlanta small business owners are equally confident, as 50 percent said their local economy will improve over the next year, a 21 percent spike from a year ago.

The Small Business Owner Report is a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners in the Atlanta area and around the country.

“We are pleased to report that Atlanta small business owners are very optimistic about their local economy and their own revenue growth heading into 2015,” said Dean Bird, Atlanta Small Business Banking manager at Bank of America. “With these strong levels of optimism, we are confident that Atlanta small business owners have the tools and tenacity to reach their goals and stay focused on success.”

Atlanta entrepreneurs embrace technology
Atlanta small business owners also give themselves a top grade when it comes to technology; 76 percent of Atlanta respondents give themselves an “A” or “B” grade in tech savviness, while only 67 percent of their national counterparts rated themselves the same. When asked about the various types of technology they use in their day-to-day business routine, 52 percent use security software, 49 percent use cloud computing software and 39 percent sell products or services online. Seven in 10 (71 percent) agree that technology helps them save time, on par with the national average, and 54 percent say that it helps them feel more in control. Despite giving themselves high marks on tech savviness, nearly half (46 percent) of Atlanta small business owners claim they can run their business indefinitely without a smartphone or tablet.

Atlanta small business owners more optimistic about local economy, but specific concerns remain
Atlanta small business owners’ confidence in the national economy lags behind their confidence in the local economy, but it has increased in the last year: 35 percent of Atlanta small business owners are confident the national economy will improve in the next year, compared to 23 percent a year ago. When asked about economic concerns that could impact their business in the next year, Atlanta entrepreneurs cite healthcare costs (79 percent) and effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (76 percent) as top issues. In addition:

  • Sixty-seven percent are concerned about corporate tax rates.
  • Sixty-one percent are concerned about commodities prices for things such as oil and gas.
  • Sixty-one percent are concerned about the strength of the U.S. dollar.

Year-end cheer expected among Atlanta small business owner
Seventy-six percent of Atlanta small business owners expect to hit their year-end revenue goal, and 96 percent say their employees are happy. High spirits may be linked to generosity with holiday perks, which Atlanta small business owners are more likely to provide than those in the rest of the country:

  • Sixty-two percent plan to award holiday salary bonuses to employees (compared 52 percent nationally).
  • Fifty percent will be holding a holiday party for employees (compared to 49 percent nationally).
  • Forty-three percent said they would be offering flexible hours or vacation time around the holidays (compared to the 35 percent nationally).

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business owners, read the full fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report and for additional Atlanta-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Atlanta infographic here.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
Braun Research conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by phone in October 2014 on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,000 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 and the margin of error for the oversampled markets is +/ 5.7 percent, with both reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

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.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses, 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 approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,900 retail banking offices and approximately 15,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and more than 16 million mobile 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 approximately 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 (NYSE:BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

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