For the first time in five years, a majority of small business owners are optimistic about the economy, and business owners in regions of the country that last year were most concerned about the economy are now looking up according to results of the 2014 U.S. Bank Annual Small Business Survey. Now in its fifth year, the U.S. Bank Annual Small Business Survey measured the opinions of more than 3,000 small business owners who shared their views on the state of the national and their local economy today, general business conditions and challenges, and their outlook for 2015. “We’re pleased to see small business optimism at a five-year high,” said John Elmore, vice chairman for community banking and branch delivery at U.S. Bank. “The survey results confirm what we’re hearing in the field. Business is strong, and while uncertainty remains and is dampening their plans to hire and expand, their outlook for 2015 is trending positive.” The EconomyIn 2014, 56 percent of small business owners said they feel that the national economy is in a state of recovery or expansion, up significantly from 46 percent last year. In 2010, nearly nine out of 10 small business owners said the U.S. economy was in a recession. This year, that number reached a five-year low, with only 34 percent of respondents saying they believe the economy is still in a recession.
|Do you believe the U.S. economy is in a recession, recovery, expansion, or are you unsure?|
|Note: percentages not equaling 100% are due to rounding.|
Looking ahead to 2015, more small business owners are hopeful about the potential for economic growth. Fewer business owners think the economy will be in recession in 2015 (41 percent), and while fewer think the economy will be in recovery in 2015, significantly more believe the economy will be expanding in 2015 (16 percent) than those who believe it is expanding now (4 percent).
|Percent who believe the U.S. economy will be in a recovery/recession/expansion/unsure next year:|
|Percent who describe the financial health of their business as good, very good or excellent:|
|Percent who report higher revenue this year compared to last year:|
|Percent who expect revenue to be higher at this time next year:|
|Percent who expect to increase the number of people working for them over the next 12 months:|
|Percent who are likely to make a capital expenditure to expand their business in the next year:|
|Percent who have borrowed money or tried to borrow money for business purposes over the last 6 months:|
|Percent who say one of the following is their most important national issue:|
|1. Federal budget deficit/federal debt (22%)||1. Federal budget deficit/federal debt (14%)|
|2. Jobs/unemployment (13%)||1. Healthcare/Medicare (14%)|
|3. Healthcare/Medicare (12%)||3. Taxes (12%)|
MethodologyThe survey was conducted by Market Probe via an online sample in the first quarter of 2014. They surveyed 3,173 small business owners with less than $10 million in annual revenue. To facilitate differences in select U.S. Bank markets, the study was conducted in two phases. The first phase comprised 1,000 national responses to serve as a baseline across U.S. Bank’s 25-state footprint. The second phase represented an over-sample of 2,173 interviews in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. Half of the respondents had businesses with more than $200,000 in revenue, and half had less than $200,000 in revenue. The survey highlights responses that are statistically significant based on variance to national, prior year, or demographic cohort results, with 95% confidence.About U.S. BancorpU.S. Bank’s commitment to the small business owner extends beyond banking and lending. U.S. Bank’s small business website, U.S. Bank Connect™, offers advice and networking opportunities to business owners of varying sizes and stages of their business life cycle. Follow Connect on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on U.S. Bank’s full service offering to small businesses visit www.usbank.com/smallbusiness. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $371 billion in assets as of March 31, 2014, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,083 banking offices in 25 states and 4,878 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.