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 small business owners across the San Francisco market, found the majority of San Francisco’s small business owners are planning on sustaining or growing their business over the next 12 months. Specifically, more than one-quarter (27 percent) plan on hiring more employees, while 58 percent expect their staffing needs will remain consistent.
In addition, nearly half (49 percent) of the San Francisco small business owners surveyed anticipate that revenue will increase in 2013, while 10 percent expect revenue to decline. However, this optimism is tempered by their views on the economy, with only 43 percent of San Francisco small business owners confident that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months. Respondents were even less confident in the national (36 percent) and global economies (21 percent) improving in that same period.
The significance of San Francisco’s local economy
The study also shows that the local economy has the greatest impact on San Francisco small business owners. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) reported that the majority of their customers come from the local community, compared to 29 percent who indicated that their customers primarily come from outside their local community but within the U.S. Only 2 percent indicated that the majority of their customers come from outside the U.S.Additionally, 71 percent of San Francisco’s small business owners believe that the local economy plays a significant role in their business. Comparatively, 58 percent believe the national economy plays a significant role, and only 26 percent believe the global economy is significant to their business. “These results clearly indicate that San Francisco’s small business owners are reliant on and confident in both themselves and their connection to the Bay Area economy,” said Emily Shanks, Small Business Banker regional executive, West region at Bank of America. “Bank of America will continue to provide locally relevant expertise to help them navigate through the economic uncertainties they face, while helping them capitalize on the business opportunities that San Francisco offers.”