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Spring Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Examines Personal, Financial and Employee Wellness Within Small Businesses

New Report Uncovers Unique Mindset of Millennial Entrepreneurs and Positive Impact of Running a Small Business on One’s Personal Health

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:00 am EDT

Dateline:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
BAC
"We're encouraged by the insights found in our most recent report and will continue to provide small business owners with the solutions they need for their business"

Bank of America today released its spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The survey found that more than half (53 percent) of small business owners say their personal health has improved as a result of running a business. In addition, nearly nine in 10 (85 percent) respondents say they have taken some steps to contribute to the happiness of their employees.

“We're encouraged by the insights found in our most recent report and will continue to provide small business owners with the solutions they need for their business,” said Robb Hilson, Small Business executive at Bank of America. “Our small business experts are committed to making the financial lives of our clients and their employees better.”

Running a small business has positive impact on personal wellness

Small business owners are focusing not only on the financial health of their company, but also their own personal wellness. The report found they are:

  • Getting between seven and eight hours of sleep every night (49 percent).
  • Exercising more frequently (35 percent).
  • Eating more healthily (29 percent).
  • Spending more time with a spouse, family or friends (21 percent).

Despite taking steps to enhance wellness overall, small business owners still face a variety of stress points. They are also spending a considerable amount of time working on their business, with nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of those surveyed saying they work more than 40 hours a week.

The report found that their greatest sources of stress include:

  • Achieving a work-life balance (18 percent).
  • Uncontrollable factors such as the economy or natural disasters (15 percent).
  • Managing cash flow (14 percent).
  • Maintaining customer satisfaction (14 percent).

Bringing health and happiness to the workplace

Small business owners are doing what they can to extend the emphasis on healthy living to their employees. Nearly half (45 percent) provide flexible work or work-from-home options, and close to one-third (31 percent) offer additional amenities in the workplace such as healthy snacks or massages.

Small business owners also turn to the following options to contribute to the health and happiness of their employees:

  • Discounted services and/or goods (31 percent).
  • Team-building activities such as sports teams and excursions (23 percent).
  • Volunteering and community service opportunities (13 percent).

Offering employer-provided health care continues to be a challenge for a majority of small business owners, with only one-third saying they provide health/wellness benefits to their employees.

“It’s important to be flexible when it comes to our employees,” said Bank of America customer George Montilio, a third-generation baker and president of Massachusetts-based Montilio’s Baking Company. “We provide very competitive compensation and offer benefits that make sense for us as a business, such as employee discounts.”

To learn more about his story and the challenges of running a small business, visit here.

Optimism for their own business, caution regarding the overall economy

The report found that small business owners are optimistic when it comes to their own revenue and hiring expectations over the next 12 months. Nearly a third (31 percent) plan to hire more employees during that period, and more than half (51 percent) expect their revenue to increase.

When thinking about their financial health, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of small business owners believe they have enough access to capital to effectively run their small business. And nearly four out of five small business owners (79 percent) who applied for a small business loan in the past two years received funding.

“Many small business owners are saying they have the right amount of capital, but that’s just one aspect of financial health,” said Hilson. “We’re always working with our clients to help them discover opportunities to enhance their business, such as improving cash flow, optimizing their financial portfolio, investing in new equipment or even expanding operations.”

However, small business owners remain concerned about the health of the overall economy. Just 41 percent say they are confident that the national economy will improve over the next 12 months and 45 percent feel this way about their local economy.

When asked about the impact of external factors on their success over the next 12 months, small business owners say the following will be significant:

  • Recovery of consumer spending (76 percent).
  • Consumer confidence (75 percent).
  • Taxes (67 percent).
  • Health care benefits/costs (56 percent).
  • Credit availability (52 percent).

The millennial mindset – hopeful about the future, comfortably in charge

The report also found that millennial (18-34 years old) small business owners are the most optimistic across age groups about what the future holds. This is true both for the national and their local economy, as well as for their own anticipated success.

Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) expect the national economy to improve over the next 12 months, with nearly the same amount (62 percent) feeling that way about their local economy.

When it comes to their own success over the next 12 months, 70 percent of millennial small business owners expect increased revenues, which compares to 54 percent for 35- to 50-year-olds and 46 percent for 51- to 64-year-olds.

This sentiment is also seen in their hiring expectations, as more than half (52 percent) of millennial respondents say they plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months. Across all age groups, 31 percent say they plan to hire more employees.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of millennial respondents say they plan to expand the products or services they offer, which compares to 56 percent across all age groups.

Millennial small business owners are taking wellness to heart, with 70 percent saying they manage their stress well. This comfort factor with being the boss is further illustrated by the 72 percent who say their personal health is better as a result of running their business, which compares to 53 percent overall.

For a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s small business owners, read the entire spring 2013 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, and for additional insights, download the Small Business Owner Report 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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Reporters May Contact:
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