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Current financial priorities cited by business leaders include increasing revenue and profitability, reducing expenses, expanding market share and increasing customer satisfaction. To achieve these goals, companies are investing in new technology (59 percent), managing cash flow more effectively (51 percent), expanding into new domestic markets (49 percent) and working to hire/retain full-time employees (48 percent).
"Many businesses are expressing increased confidence with capital investment, hiring and expansion plans," said
Tom Kuntz, SunTrust's
Commercial & Business Banking executive.
In a comparable survey of small businesses, those with revenue of
$1-10 million, 62 percent said their company's financial well-being is better than last year. Thirty percent indicated their company's financial well-being is about the same, and only eight percent about said they feel worse about their company's financial well-being than a year ago.
Top challenges cited by small businesses include an increase in operating costs (52 percent), new or evolving government regulation (38 percent), delayed payments from customers (36 percent), and changes to benefits they can offer employees (35 percent). Evolving technology, increased competition and changes to the tax structure also impacted the management of about a third of these small businesses this past year.