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U.S. Trust Survey Finds Majority Of Business Owners Focused On Keeping People Employed And Creating Jobs; However Less Than Half Are Planning For Their Future

People who own their own businesses feel they have the ability and a responsibility to create jobs and opportunities for others, according to new findings from the 2012 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey™ released today. When it comes to their own estate and business planning, however, many business owners are missing important steps that could unintentionally jeopardize their business, employees and family financial security.

“Some of the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs in history have been driven by a desire to change the world and improve the lives of others,” said Keith T. Banks, president of U.S. Trust. “The country was founded on that spirit of entrepreneurism, and it is a tremendous engine of economic growth and prosperity. Yet many business owners are so caught up in what they are doing that they often don’t envision a world without them in it. By not anticipating risks or a change in circumstances, they unintentionally may put the financial security of their families and employees at risk, despite their best intentions.”

U.S. Trust’s research found that high net worth business owners have generally weathered the current economic cycle with optimism and focus on the future. The survey found:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said that, as business owners, they feel they have a responsibility to create jobs, and 76 percent feel an obligation to keep people employed even if it means lower profits.
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of business owners – twice as many as non-business owners – say they feel empowered to make a difference by their ability to create opportunities for others.
  • Roughly half (55 percent) of business owners have started, acquired and/or made substantial investments to expand their business since 2008. One-half said they have not made any significant changes.

When asked about plans to grow their business, only about half (55 percent) of business owners said they are holding back because of economic and regulatory concerns. Even fewer cited access to credit (28 percent) or availability of start-up funding (15 percent) .

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