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Metro New York Small Business Owners Believe They Are Financially Prepared for Business Disruptions

Bank of America Spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report Finds Metro New York Owners Feel Their Business Can Last for Four Months Without Financial Assistance

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:00 am EDT

Dateline:

NEW YORK

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BAC
"While small business owners throughout the metro New York area were greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy, they have also been incredibly resilient"

Bank of America today released the spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners throughout the country. The survey, which includes an oversampling of small business owners in metro New York, found that if affected by a significant disruption, such as a natural disaster, long power outage or major staffing change, owners on average could sustain their business without outside financial help for four months.

Compared to 31 percent of business owners nationwide, half (50 percent) of small business owners in metro New York have experienced a significant disruption, which resulted in reduced revenue (59 percent) or a temporary business closure (50 percent). However, if there were another disruption, metro New York business owners say they are prepared with 47 percent having a plan in place to deal with unexpected events.

“While small business owners throughout the metro New York area were greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy, they have also been incredibly resilient,” said Christopher Kaminski, Small Business Banker manager Bank of America. “They have gone beyond just recovery to revitalization. We see them growing their businesses in a number of ways, including investing in new technology or expanding their products and services and opening new locations.”

Business owners see personal and employee wellness as essential to success
The report also explores small business owners’ personal health, finding 58 percent of metro New York respondents feel their personal health is better as a result of running their own small business. More than half (55 percent) believe they manage the stress associated with running a small business well, while only eight percent feel they do not. In addition, almost three in 10 (27 percent) metro New York small business owners surveyed exercise more and one-fifth (22 percent) eat healthier as a result of owning a small business.

Small business owners are also looking for innovative ways to keep employees happy and healthy. Eighty-nine percent of metro New York small business owners take steps to contribute to the happiness of their employees, including flexible hours/work from home options (42 percent), health/wellness benefits (31 percent) and additional amenities, such as health snacks, free lunches and massages (31 percent).

Optimism for business and economy
Small business owners are optimistic about the financial wellness of their business and the economy.

More than half (58 percent) of metro New York small business owners anticipate a revenue increase for their small business over the next year. Respondents cite marketing my business more (45 percent), maximizing day-to-day cash flow (16 percent) and selling more to my existing customer base (12 percent) as tactics to reach these revenue goals and are willing to harness new technology, such as web meetings (57 percent) and mobile devices (56 percent), to connect with customers and suppliers.

Metro New York small business owners are also expecting to increase hiring efforts. More than one-third (34 percent) plan to hire new employees in the next year (three percent above the national response).

In the next 12 months, 46 percent of respondents expect their local economy to improve, and 46 percent anticipate economic improvement nationally, both higher than the national numbers. Respondents cite consumer confidence (68 percent), recovery of consumer spending (68 percent) and credit availability (63 percent) as the key factors for the success of their small business and improved economic outlook.

Metro New York small business owners seek advice
Metro New York small business owners are well-capitalized, with 70 percent saying they have enough capital to effectively run their business, and more than two-thirds (67 percent) do not intend to apply for a loan in 2013.

However, only 21 percent consider themselves very financially savvy. The majority of metro New York’s small business owners (72 percent) say they are fairly financially savvy, but need help from time-to-time and look to an account/bookkeeper (83 percent), other small business owners (53 percent), family/friends (49 percent) or a banker (49 percent) for financial advice.

“We’ve found that small business owners seek the same thing regardless of location: expertise to help with their cash flow needs and grow their business,” said Tim McDonald, Small Business Banker manager for Bank of America. “Whether they’re looking for help managing their payroll, capital to grow their business or mobile payment systems to help with customer transactions, we are committed to helping small business owners in metro New York continue to expand their business.”

Bank of America has continued to lend actively to small businesses across the U.S. and New York State. Through March, Bank of America has extended $317.8 million in credit across New York State to small businesses – this includes $156.8 million in new originations, a 27 percent increase year-over-year. 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 a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s small business owners, please read the entire spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, and for additional metro New York-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report metro New York 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 14 and March 31, 2013, 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 and the margin of error for the oversampled markets is +/- 5.7 percent, with both 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.

© 2013 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. We serve approximately 52 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,400 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active 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 a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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