Los Angeles Small Business Owner Confidence and Optimism Is Significantly Higher Than Last Year

Fall 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Also Finds Los Angeles Businesses Quickly Adopting New Technology

Thursday, November 13, 2014 9:00 am EST

Los Angeles small business owners’ confidence in the local economy has increased 16 percent from a year ago, with 62 percent confident that it will improve in the next 12 months (compared to 46 percent a year ago) according to the fall 2014 Small Business Owner Report, released today by Bank of America.

In addition, Los Angeles small business owners are more optimistic about their revenue, growth prospects and hiring plans. Sixty-nine percent of Los Angeles small business owners expect increased revenues in the year ahead, up from 57 percent a year ago. In addition, 73 percent plan to expand their business in the next five years (compared to 67 percent nationally). Notably, 58 percent of Los Angeles small business owners plan to hire more employees. This is 30 percent more than in 2013.

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

“Not only are Los Angeles small business owners positive about the year ahead, they are also early adopters of technology,” said Troy Bosch, Los Angeles Small Business Banking manager at Bank of America. “Their ability to adapt to new technologies will help them continue to grow in the coming months.”

Los Angeles – A bourgeoning tech hub
Seventy-five percent of Los Angeles respondents give themselves an “A” or “B” when it comes to tech savviness. These grades are on par with technology-hub San Francisco (where 75 percent of small business owners also gave themselves an “A” or “B” in tech savviness), but higher than the national average of 67 percent.

In spite of positive self-evaluations from Bay Area entrepreneurs, Los Angeles small business owners are inching ahead of their tech-savvy neighbors when it comes to incorporating digital methods into their day-to-day business practices. Forty-one percent of Los Angeles small business owners have incorporated social media into their business (compared to 32 percent in San Francisco), 45 percent protect their email and shared files from hackers through digital security software (versus 35 percent of Bay Area counterparts), and 38 percent sell product or services online (versus 27 percent in San Francisco).

Positive outlook for year-end
Seventy-eight percent of Los Angeles small business owners are confident they will hit year-end revenue goals, which is on par with their national counterparts. To celebrate, 56 percent plan to give their employees salary bonuses, an uptick from 45 percent a year ago. Additionally, 47 percent plan to close their offices during the holiday season, compared to 33 percent a year ago.

Angelenos are largely unaffected by the year-end shopping season, with 81 percent of respondents stating that Black Friday has a minimal or no impact on their business’ bottom line. Another 63 percent believe that Cyber Monday is overhyped and also has no significance to their annual revenue.

Economic concerns still remain
Despite confidence in their businesses and the local economy, Los Angeles small business owners still have worries about specific economic issues, with 79 percent concerned about the effectiveness of U.S. government leaders, 65 percent expressing concern about healthcare costs and 69 percent worrying about the strength of the U.S. dollar.

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 Los Angeles-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Los Angeles 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.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.



Reporters May Contact:
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America, 1.949.464.2338