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Miami’s Outlook Remains Sunny: Bank of America Survey Finds Optimism Among Miami Small Business Owners Is on the Rise

Despite Lingering Economic Concerns, Local Entrepreneurs Plan for a Robust 2016

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 10:00 am EST

Dateline:

MIAMI

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BAC
"It is exciting to see their plans and aspirations for the coming year, and their commitment to reach those goals is further illustrated by seeking additional capital."

Small business owners in the Miami area remain extremely optimistic, according to the fall 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners in Miami and around the country.

Sixty-three percent of Miami-area small business owners plan to hire in the coming year. This number is nearly double what it was two years ago and is the highest since the inception of the report in 2012. Further illustrating this trend, more than three-quarters (76 percent) are confident their revenue will increase in the coming year, the highest of the nine markets surveyed. In addition, 80 percent of Miami entrepreneurs plan to grow their business over the next five years.

Not surprisingly, this expected growth demands additional capital. One-third (33 percent) of Miami small business owners will apply for a loan in 2016, a 10 percentage point increase from one year ago. Area entrepreneurs plan to use that funding to invest in new equipment (38 percent), expand operations (37 percent) and hire more employees (36 percent).

“The entire community benefits from the optimism of Miami small business owners as they continue to hire and grow their businesses” said Odalis Martinez, Miami small business banker manager at Bank of America. “It is exciting to see their plans and aspirations for the coming year, and their commitment to reach those goals is further illustrated by seeking additional capital.”

Economic confidence is on the rise, despite lingering concerns
In addition to the optimism surrounding their businesses, Miami small business owners have increased confidence in their local economy: 62 percent of Miami entrepreneurs believe it will improve in the next year, an increase of nearly 30 percentage points from two years ago. Nearly three in five (58 percent) believe the national economy will improve, the highest of any market surveyed. Miami small business owners are less optimistic about the performance of the global economy, with 42 percent saying it will improve.

When asked about their top concerns, Miami-area small business owners believe the following factors could potentially impact their business over the next 12 months:

  • The upcoming U.S. presidential election (39 percent).
  • The possibility of future interest rate hikes (33 percent).
  • Financial crises in countries abroad [i.e., China and Greece] (29 percent).
  • The possibility of a rising minimum wage (28 percent).

Miami small business owners embrace workplace 2.0
Small business workplace culture in the Miami-area has shifted in recent years, resulting in environments that are more tech-friendly, collaborative and flexible. Eighty-three percent of Miami small business owners are willing to adopt new technologies into their business, and 91 percent say that changing technology has helped their business. Technology is also assisting with the hiring process: one-third (33 percent) now use social media platforms to find potential candidates.

Miami small business owners are embracing a different work environment with increased flexibility, as nearly half (49 percent) give their employees the option to telecommute, compared to just 35 percent five years ago. Despite these increases in flexible options, nearly two in five (37 percent) believe their workplace has become more collaborative and focused on teamwork in the past five years.

Small business owners are beginning to offer nontraditional perks as well, including areas to relax and unwind, such as nap pods or game rooms (21 percent), office happy hours (21 percent) or the ability to bring your pets to work (14 percent).

Technological advancements require additional precautions
In Miami, 13 percent of small business owners have already fallen victim to a cybersecurity breach. In order to better protect themselves and their customers from the threat of a cyber-attack, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) are upgrading their technology at least once a year. As a result, nearly three in five (58 percent) feel prepared for a cybersecurity breach.

Miami small business owners looking forward to a successful year-end
More than four in five (84 percent) Miami small business owners expect to hit their year-end revenue goal. Many intend to offer year-end perks to their employees, including salary bonuses (52 percent), gifts (46 percent) or closing the office during the holidays (44 percent).

When it comes to holiday milestones, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not top concerns for the majority of Miami entrepreneurs when considering year-end revenues, but this appears to be shifting slightly. Fifty percent say Black Friday has no impact on their business’ bottom line, compared to 55 percent a year ago. Fifty-three percent think the same of Cyber Monday, but this is significantly lower than last year (65 percent).

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business owners, read the full fall 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, and for additional insights from small business owners in Miami and across the country, download the Small Business Owner Report local insights infographic here.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
Braun Research, Inc. conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by phone from August 21 through September 22, 2015, on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,001 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 surveyed in each of 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 is +/- 5.7 percent, reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf and for the exclusive use 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 leading 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. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,100 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with 32 million active users and more than 18 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 all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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