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SMBs Lean On Friends And Family To Thrive, BofA Finds

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Despite what Bank of America describes as a “challenging business environment,” SMBs are thriving, thanks in large part to friends and family.

The bank released its latest semi-annual report on small businesses Tuesday (Nov. 15) and found just how much these companies rely on friends, family and their communities to thrive. Researchers found that 83 percent of SMBs surveyed report having received some kind of financial, operational or emotional support from a family member. More than half of business owners (53 percent) said at least one family member serves a key role in their business, as an employee, advisor or investor.

Close friends are also helping U.S. small businesses stay ahead. According to Bank of America, more than a third said “friends and family” provide the most help in running their companies, and 38 percent said they have received some type of assistance, financial or emotional, from friends.

Researchers described these connections as key players in helping small businesses succeed. While optimism levels are increasing, they remain muted, with 31 percent of small businesses saying they’re optimistic about the national economy. Bank of America also found that expectations for revenue growth have remained the same between spring and fall of this year, though most businesses (52 percent) said they expect to see their revenues increase next year.

“We know small business owners are inherent self-starters making significant personal sacrifices on behalf of their businesses, but what’s fascinating is this dimension of family, friends and community that they see as core to their success,” reflected Sharon Miller, who serves as Bank of America’s head of small business. “As apprehension about the economy stalls plans for many to grow and hire, small business owners are forging ahead with a foundation of support from loved ones and local networks.”

“It shows why it’s so important for us at Bank of America to serve and support business owners, their families and local communities,” the executive added.

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