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Washington, D.C., Small Business Owners Continue To Be Optimistic About 2013, Yet Concerns About The Economy Remain

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 Greater Washington market, found that the majority of Greater Washington’s small business owners are planning on sustaining or growing their business over the next 12 months. Specifically, nearly one-third (32 percent) plan on hiring more employees, while 59 percent expect their staffing needs will remain consistent.

In addition, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the Washington, D.C., small business owners surveyed anticipate that revenue will increase in 2013, while only 6 percent expect revenue to decline.

However, this optimism is tempered by their views on the economy, with only 50 percent of Greater Washington small business owners confident that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months. Respondents were even less confident in the national (39 percent) and global economies (27 percent) improving in that same period.

The significance of Greater Washington’s local economy

More than half (54 percent) reported that the majority of their customers come from the local community, compared to 32 percent who indicated that their customers come primarily from outside the local community but within the U.S. Only 4 percent indicated that the majority of their customers come from outside the U.S.

Additionally, 72 percent of Greater Washington’s small business owners believe that the local economy plays a significant role in their business. Comparatively, 52 percent believe the national economy plays a significant role, and only 30 percent believe the global economy is significant to their business.

“The economic backbone of Greater Washington isn’t rooted in national government organizations; it’s powered by the region’s small business community, which is doing business every day with the public and private sector across the Mid-Atlantic,” said Raj Kochhar, Small Business Banker region executive for the Mid-Atlantic at Bank of America. “Bank of America remains fully committed to supporting small business owners with their financial needs so that both their business and our community can grow.”

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