Spring Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Finds Greater Washington Small Business Owners Optimistic About Growth, Among Most Likely to Apply for Loans



"We are very optimistic about growth and are committed to helping Beltway small business owners achieve their goals in the year ahead."

Over half of small business owners in the Greater Washington area are planning for growth, according to the spring 2014 Small Business Owner Report, released today by Bank of America. The report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners in Greater Washington and around the country, found that 58 percent of Washingtonians plan to grow their business over the next five years.

Similarly, 58 percent of Greater Washington small business owners believe their revenues will increase over the next 12 months. Women are especially optimistic, with 68 percent believing revenues will grow, compared to 49 percent of men. However, 46 of men plan to hire in the coming year compared to 41 percent of women.

Forty-three percent of Greater Washington small business owners have applied for a loan within the past two years - more than any other market surveyed. Additionally, nearly one-quarter (22 percent) plan to apply for a loan in 2014, compared to 14 percent nationally.

"The percentage of small business owners seeking funding is highly encouraging," said Ryan Coughlin, Washington, D.C. Small Business Banking manager at Bank of America. "We are very optimistic about growth and are committed to helping Beltway small business owners achieve their goals in the year ahead."

Concerns remain over state of the economy

Despite an overall optimistic outlook on their own businesses, less than half (45 percent) of small business owners in the Greater Washington area feel confident that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months, compared to 51 percent nationally. Forty-two percent believe the national economy will improve, and 36 percent are confident the global economy will improve over the same timeframe.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they are concerned about corporate tax rates, 14 percent higher than the national average.

To see the original version as well as other supplementary pictures or videos, browse the link previously mentionedOther economic factors Beltway small business owners are concerned about include:

Effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (66 percent).

Health care costs (65 percent).

Commodities prices (64 percent).

Women sacrifice personal time, while men sacrifice relationships

In addition to concern over the economy, local small business owners, women in particular, are concerned about the impact owning a small business has on their family life. Seventy percent of Greater Washington small business owners say they have made significant personal sacrifices for their business, similar to small business owners nationally (72 percent), but there are substantial differences between men and women in the D.C. area. For example, 70 percent of women give up time for themselves, but only 49 percent of men do the same. More than half of men (57 percent) say they've sacrificed their relationship with a spouse or partner, versus 49 percent of women. Finally, nearly one-third of women (29 percent) say they have put off having children due to business demands.

When it comes to spending time with their families, 44 percent of Greater Washington women small business owners say running their business has no impact on that part of their life, compared to 28 percent of women nationally.

Greater Washington small business owners most likely inherit business from their parents

Small business owners in the Greater Washington area are more likely to acquire their business from their parents, with 22 percent inheriting, compared to 13 percent nationally. Nearly one in four (24 percent) small business owners in the nation's capital say their children currently work for their business.

Greater Washington small business owners are least likely to offer retirement benefits to their staff (33 percent), lower than survey respondents nationally (43 percent).

Beltway small business owners retire sooner than most

Small business owners in the Greater Washington area are among the most likely to retire before the age of 65, with only 46 percent planning to work past age 65. Almost half (49 percent) of small business owners planning to work past the traditional retirement age intend to do so because they enjoy running their business and do not want to stop working; this is lower than small business owners nationally (64 percent). However, there are a few outliers: 27 percent say they will need to continue working to maintain a steady source of income and 24 percent say they will not be ready to give up control.

Lending activity to small businesses strong

Bank of America has a nationwide network of banking centers and professionals that are committed to its more than 3 million small business clients and their local communities. In 2013, Bank of America extended $33.5 million in new loans to small businesses in the District of Columbia - a 32 percent increase over 2012. This has helped enable Bank of America to exceed its national small business lending pledge to the White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation's small business owners, read the full spring 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, and for additional Greater Washington-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Greater Washington infographic here.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report

Braun Research conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by phone between March 4 and March 31, 2014, on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,000 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between 2 and 99 employees. In addition, 300 small business owners were also surveyed in nine target markets: Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami. The margin of error for the national sample is +/- 3.1 percent; the margin of error for the oversampled markets (where n=300) is +/ 5.7 percent; and the margin of error for the oversampled markets (where n=301) is +/ 5.6 percent, with each reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf of Bank of America and interpretations in this release are not intended, nor implied, to be a substitute for the professional advice received from a qualified accountant, attorney or financial advisor. Always seek the advice of an accountant, attorney or financial advisor with any questions you may have regarding the decisions you undertake as a result of reviewing the information contained herein. Nothing in this report should be construed as either advice or legal opinion.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses, middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 49 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,100 retail banking offices and approximately 16,200 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 15 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

www.bankofamerica.com



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