According to Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, small business optimism is at its highest since the survey’s inception in 2012, with expectations for revenue growth and plans to hire hitting a three-year high.
The report, based on a semi-annual survey of 1,000 small business owners across the country, revealed that 72% expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, compared with 62% a year ago.
They are growing their staff too as 67% plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months, up significantly from 51% in the fall of 2014 and 31% in the fall of 2013.
What about economic confidence?
- 62% report optimism for local economies (12 percentage point rise year over year)
- 56% report optimism for the national economy (11 percentage point rise year over year)
- 45% report optimism for the global economy (14 percentage point rise year over year)
This optimism was seen even as small business owners expressed apprehension over the 2016 presidential election, minimum wage hikes and an increase in interest rates, as more than one-third of those surveyed expressed concern that these factors could impact their business in 2016.
“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in optimism among small business owners in the economy, revenue growth and hiring,” said Robb Hilson, Bank of America Small Business executive.
“Even with instability in the global markets and the uncertainty they have about the upcoming election, small business owners are confident and ready to expand their businesses.
“They are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and we commend them for their entrepreneurial spirit and stamina through a challenging economic time.”
Other key findings included:
- 88% say technology is helping them better serve customers
- 71% report investing in technology upgrades one or more times per year
- 47% offer telecommuting options (12 percentage point jump from 2010)
- 12% have been the victim of a cybersecurity breach
- 31% expect Black Friday to provide a bump in sales in 2015 (compared to 17% in 2014)
- 43% expect CyberMonday to have an impact on their business’ bottom line (compared to 29% in 2014)