Business

Small Businesses Bullish About 2017 Outlook

Small businesses (SMBS) around the country are ending the year on a positive note, with Bank of America finding that many urban entrepreneurs are expressing confidence they will generate higher year-end revenue this year compared to last year.

In a press release highlighting the results of the fall 2017 Bank of America Business Advantage Small Business Owner Report, which is a semi-annual survey of 1,000 business owners around the country, the financial institution said close to three-quarters of urban entrepreneurs are upbeat about their year-end revenue prospects. Confidence in the economy has also jumped, with close to half of small business owners expecting their local economy and the national one to improve in 2018.

“Entrepreneurs continue to be upbeat about future economic growth as they set their sights on 2018,” said Sharon Miller, head of Small Business at Bank of America, in the press release highlighting the survey results. “Small business owners are optimistic about their ability to close the year strong and the outlook for the economy in the year ahead. However, these surges in small business owner confidence have not yet translated into plans for long-term growth.”

According to Bank of America, the positive outlook about the economy should mean more growth next year, given 92 percent of SMB owners polled indicated that a positive economic environment is a critical factor in their ability to grow. Other factors that impact growth include the ability to attract and retain good employees, favorable government policies and access to capital, Bank of America found.

While business owners are upbeat about growth next year, the survey also found that long-term growth plans are the same from the fall of 2016, when 51 percent of small business owners said they expect to grow during the next five years. Plans to hire are down year over year, with just 16 percent saying they will hire more in 2018, down from 25 percent in the fall of 2016.

Bank of America highlighted one distinction: Rural business owners are more confident about the economy, while urban business owners are more upbeat about revenue, growth and hiring trends.

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