Bank of America Survey Finds Los Angeles Small Business Owners Are Ramping up Hiring Despite Concerns Over Minimum Wage Hikes

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Local Entrepreneurs Plan for a Robust 2016

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While Los Angeles small business owners are concerned about minimum wage
hikes, they are very optimistic about revenue growth and many have plans
to hire in 2016, according to the fall
2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
, a semi-annual
study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small
business owners in Los Angeles and around the country.

Following a minimum wage vote that passed in Los Angeles this summer,
area small business owners are expressing greater concern over its
impact: 40 percent expressed concern over minimum wage increases,
compared to 35 percent of small business owners nationwide. Los Angeles
small business owners are also concerned about potential interest rate
hikes (40 percent) and the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential
election (37 percent).

Despite these concerns, Los Angeles owners are planning to hire more
than ever before and are confident about revenue growth in 2016, with 68
percent expecting revenues to increase over the next 12 months.
Additionally, 62 percent of Los Angeles-area small businesses plan to
hire in the upcoming year, more than double what it was two years ago
and the highest since the inception of the report in 2012.

“Los Angeles small business owners realize that talent is the backbone
of any successful business,” said Troy Bosch, Los Angeles small business
banker manager at Bank of America. “Despite their reticence over minimum
wage increases, Los Angeles small business owners continue to prioritize
hiring, which will fuel success within their business and across the
entire community.”

While confidence in business grows, local economic optimism dips
In
contrast to increased confidence in their businesses, Los Angeles small
business owners report decreased confidence in their local economy: Just
over half (53 percent) believe it will improve in the next year, a
decrease of 9 percentage points from a year ago. Los Angeles was the
only market surveyed that saw a decline in local economic confidence.
Confidence in the national economy is flat from a year ago (48 percent
in fall 2015, versus 47 percent in fall 2014). However, optimism around
the global economy has increased from a year ago, with 33 percent saying
it will improve, compared to 29 percent last year.

Tempering confidence in the economy are a few concerns beyond minimum
wage hikes. These include:

  • The effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (73 percent).
  • Health care costs (69 percent).
  • Interest rate increases (59 percent).
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar (56 percent).

Los Angeles small business owners embrace workplace 2.0
Los
Angeles area small business owners are paving the way for more
collaborative, tech-friendly and flexible work environments. For
example, most (89 percent) report technology helps boost their business.
Nearly as many (84 percent) report that technology practices have helped
to better serve customers and expressed willingness to adopt new
technologies in the future.

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important to area business
owners, with 39 percent saying their workplace has become more focused
on teamwork in the past five years. Collaboration is increasing even as
employers are offering more flexible work arrangements, including
telecommuting options (45 percent), which nearly half of small business
owners (48 percent) say improve employee attitudes at work.

Area small business owners are beginning to offer nontraditional perks
as well, including areas to relax and unwind such as nap pods or game
rooms (20 percent), transportation stipends (19 percent) or the ability
to bring pets to work (17 percent).

Cybersecurity raises concerns; Los Angeles small businesses preparing
Although
14 percent of Los Angeles small business owners have been the victim of
a cybersecurity breach, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) have expressed
concerns about the security of their customers’ proprietary data. In
order to better protect themselves, 71 percent are upgrading their
technology once a year or more. As a result, more than half (58 percent)
of local business owners feel prepared for a cybersecurity breach.

Los Angeles owners looking forward to a successful year-end
Los
Angeles small business owners expect to end the year on a high note: 79
percent say it’s likely they will hit their year-end revenue goal. Many
small business owners intend to offer year-end perks to their employees,
including salary bonuses (49 percent), a holiday party (47 percent) or
holiday office closures (47 percent).

When it comes to holiday shopping milestones, Black Friday and Cyber
Monday are not top revenue drivers for Los Angeles small business
owners. Fifty-five percent say Black Friday has no impact on their
business’ bottom line (compared to 58 percent a year ago), and 59
percent think Cyber Monday is overhyped and has no significance to their
business’ bottom line (compared to 63 percent in fall 2014).

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business
owners, read the full fall
2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
, and for additional
insights from small business owners in Los Angeles and across the
country, download the Small Business Owner Report local insights
infographic here.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
Braun
Research, Inc. conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
survey by phone from August 21 through September 22, 2015, on behalf of
Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of
1,001 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 surveyed in each
of 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 is +/- 5.7 percent, reported at a 95 percent
confidence level.

The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf and for the
exclusive use 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 leading
financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and
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 47 million
consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700
retail financial centers, approximately 16,100 ATMs, and award-winning
online banking with 32 million active users and more than 18 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 all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 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
.

www.bankofamerica.com

Contacts

Reporters May Contact:
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America,
1.213.621.7414
colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com