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Greater Washington Small Business Owners Confident That Revenues Will Increase

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Greater Washington small business owners’ revenue expectations have spiked significantly in the last 12 months, with 73 percent of local entrepreneurs forecasting an increase in revenue over the next year. This is more than any market surveyed and a 15 percent jump from a year ago according to the fall 2014 Small Business Owner Report, released today by Bank of America.

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

More than half (51 percent) of Greater Washington small business owners are expecting to hire more employees in the next year, a strong uptick from last year when only 42 percent were planning to bring in additional staff. Looking farther out, the confidence continues: 61 percent of Greater Washington small business owners say they expect to grow their business over the next five years.

“Despite concerns about the local economy, Greater Washington small business owners believe in their ability to manage through the current economic environment,” said Ryan Coughlin, Washington, D.C. Small Business Banking market manager at Bank of America. “Bank of America is committed to supporting the goals of our local small business owners to help them achieve their expectations for growth.”

Greater Washington concerned about local economy
Small business owners in Greater Washington are the least optimistic about their local economy out of the nine major markets surveyed. Only 42 percent believe their local economy will improve over the next 12 months. They are also least confident about the global economy, as only 25 percent believe it will improve over the next year, compared to 31 percent of their national counterparts.

While they are not confident in the economy, Greater Washington small business owners are surprisingly less concerned about various economic issues when compared to their national counterparts. For example, 67 percent say they are concerned about the impact government leaders will have on their business in the next year, compared to 74 percent of their counterparts. Local small business owners are also less concerned about unemployment rates, lack of jobs, and layoffs impacting their business over the next year (41 percent expressed concern, versus 80 percent nationally). However, they are much more concerned about inventory and production than the national average (22 percent expressed concern, versus 2 percent nationally).

Technology increasing stress, hours
Thirty-five percent are finding that they’re more stressed by the always-on work mentality that mobile technology can create – compared to 26 percent of their national counterparts, who said being available 24/7 by phone made them feel stressed. Additionally, 18 percent of Greater Washington small business owners state that technology forces them to work more often, while only 8 percent of those nationally feel this way.

While Washingtonians say that technology increases stress and the amount of hours they work, 23 percent say they could only successfully run their business for one hour without access to a smartphone or tablet. They also consider themselves tech savvy, with 62 percent grading themselves and their business an “A” or “B” for tech savviness.

Year-end perks: More likely to give time off than bonuses
When it comes to holiday-related perks, Greater Washington small business owners are most likely (48 percent) to say that they plan to close the office during the holidays, which is 11 percent higher than the national average (37 percent). However, only 43 percent plan to give salary bonuses to their employees for the holidays, compared to 52 percent in the rest of the country.

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 Greater Washington-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Greater Washington 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; the margin of error for the oversampled markets (where n=300) is +/ 5.7 percent; and the margin of error for the oversampled markets (where n=301) is +/ 5.6 percent, with each 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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