Bank of America today released the fall 2012 Small Business Owner Report , a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The survey, which includes an oversampling of the Boston market, found the majority of Boston small business owners are planning on sustaining or growing their business over the next 12 months. Specifically, nearly one-quarter (24 percent) plan to hire more employees, while 67 percent expect their staffing needs will remain consistent.
In addition, more than half (57 percent) of the Boston small business owners surveyed anticipate that revenue will increase in 2013, while only 9 percent expect revenue to decline. However, this optimism is tempered by their views on the economy, with only 35 percent of Boston small business owners confident that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months. Respondents were even less confident in the national (26 percent) and global economies (13 percent) improving in that same period.
The significance of Boston’s local economy
The study also shows that the local economy has the greatest impact on Boston-based small business owners. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) reported that the majority of their customers come from their local community, compared to 25 percent who indicated that their customers primarily come from outside their local community but within the U.S. Only one percent indicated that the majority of their customers come from outside the U.S.Additionally, 75 percent of Boston’s small business owners believe that the local economy plays a significant role in their business. Comparatively, 55 percent believe the national economy plays a significant role, and only 25 percent believe the global economy is significant to their business. “Boston’s economic growth is intrinsically tied to the success and vitality of our small business community,” said Anna Colton, Boston-based small business banker national sales executive for Bank of America. “Bank of America remains fully committed to supporting small business owners’ financial needs so that both their business and our community can grow.”