Boston business owners express optimism for 2013, despite doubts concerning economy

Bank of America released its fall 2012 Small Business Owner Report last week, revealing that a majority of Boston small business owners plan to sustain or grow their business within the next year.

Nearly 25 percent of Boston small business owners have plans to hire more employees, while 67 percent of entrepreneurs expect staffing needs to remain the same.

Additionally, 57 percent of Boston’s small business owners expect revenue to increase in 2013, while nine percent expect a decline in revenue.

Though many business owners revealed optimism in their profit outlook, fewer business owners expect a pick-up in their local economies. Only 35 percent of small business owners expressed confidence in the improvement of their local economy over the next year.

Business owners showed even less confidence in the national and global economies, with 26 percent and 13 percent, respectively, expecting improvement within the next 12 months.

The Bank of America study also revealed that the local economy is most beneficial to Boston business owners, with 65 percent reporting a majority of customers come from the local community, while 25 percent reported that customers come from outside their local community. Only one percent of respondents indicated that their customer base is located outside of the U.S.

Small business owners in Boston also said that they receive little benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sales. Ninety-four percent of respondents said that Black Friday has a small impact, if any, on their bottom line while 84 percent believe Cyber Monday has no effect on their bottom line.

A majority of Boston’s business owners indicated that they will have enough capital to function effectively. Only 19 percent of respondents indicated that they applied for a business loan within the last year, while 77 percent said that they do not intend to apply for a business loan over the next year.

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