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Dallas/Fort Worth Small Business Owners Say Finding and Retaining Talent Is Challenging, but Critical for Success

Fall Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Finds Local Optimism Heading Into 2014

Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:00 am EST

Dateline:

DALLAS

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NYSE:
BAC
"Through our conversations, we know how critical talent is as small business owners plan for a more prosperous 2014."

Bank of America today released its fall 2013 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The survey, which includes an oversampling of small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth, found that almost three in 10 (28 percent) Dallas/Fort Worth respondents plan to hire over the next 12 months. Yet close to half (47 percent) say finding qualified employees is difficult.

Of those small business owners who plan on hiring new talent in 2014, 24 percent are staffing up for an increase in business. With good talent difficult to find and small business owners looking to increase business, they are also focused on keeping valuable employees. The report found that the top actions small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth take to retain employees are offering a competitive salary (49 percent), bonuses for high performers (39 percent) and flexible working arrangements (38 percent).

More than half of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners (55 percent) agree that managing their staff is a source of great pride for them. But 53 percent admit to having some level of frustration with their employees. The top frustrations are poor time management (19 percent), lack of enthusiasm (17 percent) and lack of proactive thinking (16 percent).

For more information on small business owners’ talent needs, click here.

“By constantly listening to small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth and across Texas, our local small business experts are better equipped to address any challenge or opportunity our clients ask us to help them with,” said Jay Brown, Dallas/Fort Worth Small Business Banking manager, Bank of America. “Through our conversations, we know how critical talent is as small business owners plan for a more prosperous 2014.”

Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are optimistic about the year ahead, but continue to have concerns
Small business owners feel optimistic about the future of their businesses. Sixty percent of those surveyed in Dallas/Fort Worth expect their revenue to increase in the next twelve months, an 8 percent increase from 2012.

In addition, the report found that 46 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners believe their local economy will improve over the next 12 months, but are not as confident about the national economy. Only 27 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth respondents think that the national economy will improve in the next 12 months, compared to 41 percent nationally.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are concerned about the effectiveness of U.S. government leaders over the next 12 months, and 69 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are concerned about commodities prices (e.g., oil, gas). Other concerns that may affect the success of their business in the next 12 months include:

  • Health care costs – 61 percent.
  • Interest rates – 60 percent.
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar – 59 percent.
  • Consumer spending – 59 percent.
  • Corporate tax rates – 59 percent.

More than half (53 percent) of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners say their hiring plans will not change in the next year due to new health care legislation. In addition, only 26 percent of Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners currently provide health/wellness benefit packages, consistent with national levels (27 percent).

For more information on small business owners’ 2014 outlook, click here.

Holidays are “business as usual” for many small businesses
Nine out of 10 small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth think Black Friday has little or no impact on their bottom line, and 96 percent think Cyber Monday is similarly overhyped.

Maintaining a work-life balance during the last months of the year does not appear to be an issue for many Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners as only a quarter (26 percent) report working longer hours during the holidays.

Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners are generous when thanking their employees during the holidays. The most popular perks are:

  • Hosting a holiday party – 42 percent.
  • Awarding salary bonuses – 41 percent.
  • Giving gifts – 38 percent.
  • Closing the office during holidays – 35 percent.
  • Offering flexible working hours during the holidays – 32 percent.

Only one in six (16 percent) do not intend to offer holiday-related perks this year, down slightly from 18 percent last year.

For more information on small business owners’ holiday outlook, click here.

Bank of America has continued to lend actively to small businesses across the U.S. and Texas. Through September of this year, Bank of America has extended more than $585 million in new credit across Texas to small businesses – an increase of 40 percent over the same period last 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 an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business owners, read the entire fall 2013 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report. An infographic with highlights of the report can be found 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 September 12 and October 3, 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 Fort Worth, 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.

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 51 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,200 retail banking offices and approximately 16,200 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 14 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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