Metro New York Entrepreneurs Feel Jolt of Optimism

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Local Small Business Owners Are More Confident in Their Businesses
and the Overall Economy Than a Year Ago

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Small business owners in metro New York are bullish about the year
ahead, 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 metro New York and around the country.

Seventy percent of metro New York small business owners expect their
revenue to increase in the next 12 months, a 10 percentage point
increase from a year ago. In addition, 61 percent plan to hire more
employees, a 13 percentage point increase from last year. This expected
growth calls for more capital, which may explain why one-third (33
percent) of metro New York entrepreneurs plan to apply for a loan in
2016, 8 percentage points higher than a year ago.

“New York small business owners continue to be extremely positive about
their prospects for growth,” said Michael Angelone, New York small
business banker manager at Bank of America. “In addition to exhibiting
increased levels of optimism around revenue, hiring and the economy,
small business owners are also responding to the needs of their
employees and customers by embracing technological advancements and
workplace flexibility.”

Economic confidence is on the rise
Metro New York small
business owners’ expectations for the economy mirror their attitude on
business growth: 57 percent are confident the local economy will improve
in the next year, compared to 51 percent in fall 2014; 52 percent are
confident the national economy will improve, compared to 47 percent in
fall 2014; and 41 percent believe the global economy will improve,
representing a slight uptick from a year ago.

When asked about their top concerns, metro New York small business
owners said they worry about economic factors impacting their businesses
but are less concerned than they were a year ago. Concerns include:

  • Effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (68 percent, versus 81
    percent a year ago).
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar (59 percent, versus 69 percent).
  • Interest rates (57 percent, versus 62 percent).
  • Consumer spending (55 percent, versus 62 percent).

Metro New York small business owners embrace technology and workplace
2.0

Metro New York small businesses have shifted in recent
years to create workplace environments that are more collaborative,
tech-friendly and flexible. Eighty-six percent are willing to adopt new
technologies, and 88 percent think changing technology has helped their
business – specifically, 84 percent report that technology has helped
better serve their customers.

Metro New York entrepreneurs have also shifted to a more flexible work
environment in recent years, with more than half (52 percent) offering
telecommuting as an option to employees (versus 47 percent nationally),
a significant increase from the 40 percent who offered it five years ago.

This flexibility is paying off, as 57 percent of metro New York small
business owners think their employees have better attitudes when they
have the option to telecommute, and half (50 percent) think their
workforce has become more productive due to telecommuting. Over the past
five years, 37 percent of metro New York entrepreneurs think their
workplace has become more collaborative and focused on teamwork, and
more welcoming to change.

Nontraditional perks are also emerging at metro New York small
businesses, including areas to relax or unwind, such as nap pods or game
rooms (17 percent), office happy hours (17 percent) or pet-friendly work
environments (13 percent).

Small business owners are concerned and prepared for a cybersecurity
breach

With increased reliance on technology comes an increase
in the risk of cyber threats. In fact, 11 percent of New York area small
business owners have already fallen victim to a cybersecurity breach. In
order to better protect themselves and their customers from the threat
of a cyber-attack, 70 percent are upgrading their technology at least
once a year. As a result, 64 percent of local business owners feel
prepared for a cyber-attack – more than any other market surveyed.

Small business owners look forward to a happy new year
Many
metro New York small business owners intend to offer holiday-related
perks to their employees during this year’s holiday season. Top holiday
perks include salary bonuses (52 percent), holiday parties (46 percent),
flexible hours or vacation time (41 percent), or closing the office (43
percent).

And while 53 percent state that Black Friday has no impact on their
bottom line, the number of metro New York small business owners who say
that it has had a significant impact has increased over the past year,
from 19 percent to 24 percent – indicating even stronger pressure in the
fourth quarter for small businesses to meet their numbers. The same can
be said about Cyber Monday, with its relevance to making year-end
targets increasing from 13 percent to 16 percent year over year.

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 metro New York 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.

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Contacts

Reporters May Contact:
Tara Burke, Bank of America, 1.203.292.6590
tara.a.burke@bankofamerica.com