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Dallas/Fort Worth Small Business Owners Confident About Hiring, Revenue Growth and the Economy

Fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Finds Local Entrepreneurs Less Reliant on Technology Than Their Peers Nationwide

Thursday, November 13, 2014 9:00 am EST

Dateline:

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, Texas

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BAC
"It is evident that our local entrepreneurs are excited about their prospects for 2015 – and Bank of America will be there to help provide the resources these small business owners need to grow."

Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are looking to hire, with 46 percent looking to do so in the coming year, an increase of 18 percent from a year ago, according to the fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, released today by Bank of America. Sixty-four percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners also expect their revenues to increase in the next 12 months.

Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners’ bullish hiring plans could be linked to their increased confidence in the economy, which is significantly higher than it was a year ago. Confidence in the global economy has increased by 15 percent (to 33 percent); confidence in the national economy spiked 17 percent (to 44 percent); and confidence in the local economy grew by 6 percent (to 52 percent).

The Small Business Owner Report is a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth and around the country.

“The increased confidence in the local and national economies is encouraging and shows the positive spirit of small business owners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” said Julie Hoad, Small Business Banking manager at Bank of America. “It is evident that our local entrepreneurs are excited about their prospects for 2015 – and Bank of America will be there to help provide the resources these small business owners need to grow.”

Majority of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners say they’re tech savvy, but fewer use tech to feel in control
The majority of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners (58 percent) consider themselves tech savvy, however this is below the national average of 67 percent who give themselves the same “A” or “B” grade when it comes to tech savviness. Additionally, more than one in three of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners (36 percent) give themselves a “C” in tech savviness (versus 27 percent nationally).

While 58 percent of small business owners nationwide say that technology makes them feel more in control when managing the day-to-day aspects of their business, only 48 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners feel the same.

Contrary to their nationwide counterparts, Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners primarily use technology for internal business practices while their peers look to technology for external, promotional purposes. Thirty-nine percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners say that their main use for technology is organizing office tasks, sharing files, and leveraging cloud-based accounting tools (compared to 38 percent nationwide), whereas 34 percent use social media (compared to 44 percent nationwide) and 30 percent sell products and services online (compared to 38 percent).

Concerns remain about larger economic issues
While Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are confident that the global, national and local economies will improve over the next year, they do have concerns about specific economic issues. Fifty-seven percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are concerned about credit availability, which is 13 percent higher than the national average and more than any other city surveyed in the report. Another area of unease is corporate tax rates, with 63 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners expressing concern, compared to only 54 percent of their national counterparts.

Holiday perks in the form of cash
When it comes to the holidays, Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are feeling generous with 56 percent planning to give their staff holiday bonuses, a 15 percent uptick from last year. Additionally, 38 percent plan to offer flexible hours or vacation time around the holidays (compared to 32 percent a year ago) and 39 percent plan to close their office during the holidays.

Seventy-six percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners say Black Friday has minimal or no impact on their business’s bottom line (compared to 73 percent of national respondents), and 69 percent say Cyber Monday is overhyped and has no significance to their annual revenue (compared to 69 percent of national respondents).

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business owners, read the full fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report and for additional Dallas/Fort Worth-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Dallas/Fort Worth 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 in October 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 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,900 retail banking offices and approximately 15,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and more than 16 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.

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