Miami’s Outlook Remains Sunny: Bank of America Survey Finds Optimism Among Miami Small Business Owners Is on the Rise

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Despite Lingering Economic Concerns, Local Entrepreneurs Plan for a
Robust 2016

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Small business owners in the Miami area remain extremely optimistic,
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 Miami and around the country.

Sixty-three percent of Miami-area small business owners plan to hire in
the coming year. This number is nearly double what it was two years ago
and is the highest since the inception of the report in 2012. Further
illustrating this trend, more than three-quarters (76 percent) are
confident their revenue will increase in the coming year, the highest of
the nine markets surveyed. In addition, 80 percent of Miami
entrepreneurs plan to grow their business over the next five years.

Not surprisingly, this expected growth demands additional capital.
One-third (33 percent) of Miami small business owners will apply for a
loan in 2016, a 10 percentage point increase from one year ago. Area
entrepreneurs plan to use that funding to invest in new equipment (38
percent), expand operations (37 percent) and hire more employees (36
percent).

“The entire community benefits from the optimism of Miami small business
owners as they continue to hire and grow their businesses” said Odalis
Martinez, Miami small business banker manager at Bank of America. “It is
exciting to see their plans and aspirations for the coming year, and
their commitment to reach those goals is further illustrated by seeking
additional capital.”

Economic confidence is on the rise, despite lingering concerns
In
addition to the optimism surrounding their businesses, Miami small
business owners have increased confidence in their local economy: 62
percent of Miami entrepreneurs believe it will improve in the next year,
an increase of nearly 30 percentage points from two years ago. Nearly
three in five (58 percent) believe the national economy will improve,
the highest of any market surveyed. Miami small business owners are less
optimistic about the performance of the global economy, with 42 percent
saying it will improve.

When asked about their top concerns, Miami-area small business owners
believe the following factors could potentially impact their business
over the next 12 months:

  • The upcoming U.S. presidential election (39 percent).
  • The possibility of future interest rate hikes (33 percent).
  • Financial crises in countries abroad [i.e., China and Greece] (29
    percent).
  • The possibility of a rising minimum wage (28 percent).

Miami small business owners embrace workplace 2.0
Small
business workplace culture in the Miami-area has shifted in recent
years, resulting in environments that are more tech-friendly,
collaborative and flexible. Eighty-three percent of Miami small business
owners are willing to adopt new technologies into their business, and 91
percent say that changing technology has helped their business.
Technology is also assisting with the hiring process: one-third (33
percent) now use social media platforms to find potential candidates.

Miami small business owners are embracing a different work environment
with increased flexibility, as nearly half (49 percent) give their
employees the option to telecommute, compared to just 35 percent five
years ago. Despite these increases in flexible options, nearly two in
five (37 percent) believe their workplace has become more collaborative
and focused on teamwork in the past five years.

Small business owners are beginning to offer nontraditional perks as
well, including areas to relax and unwind, such as nap pods or game
rooms (21 percent), office happy hours (21 percent) or the ability to
bring your pets to work (14 percent).

Technological advancements require additional precautions
In
Miami, 13 percent of 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, nearly three-fourths (74
percent) are upgrading their technology at least once a year. As a
result, nearly three in five (58 percent) feel prepared for a
cybersecurity breach.

Miami small business owners looking forward to a successful year-end
More
than four in five (84 percent) Miami small business owners expect to hit
their year-end revenue goal. Many intend to offer year-end perks to
their employees, including salary bonuses (52 percent), gifts (46
percent) or closing the office during the holidays (44 percent).

When it comes to holiday milestones, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are
not top concerns for the majority of Miami entrepreneurs when
considering year-end revenues, but this appears to be shifting slightly.
Fifty percent say Black Friday has no impact on their business’ bottom
line, compared to 55 percent a year ago. Fifty-three percent think the
same of Cyber Monday, but this is significantly lower than last year (65
percent).

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 Miami 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:
Matthew Daily, Bank of America,
1.404.607.2844
matthew.daily@bankofamerica.com