Small Business Finances insurance

By: Christina Merhar (Zane Benefits) May 2015

While the Great Recession seems like a thing of the past, small business owners are still recovering. And while optimism is growing, owners say top small business challenges for 2015 are financial security, recruiting quality employees, offering the benefits employees want, and creating a competitive edge.

These trends were identified through a 2015 survey by Bank of America, which surveyed approximately 1,000 small businesses (defined as employing 2-99 employees) in March 2015.

To summarize, here are 20 compelling small business owner stats on economic outlook, finances, recruiting, benefits, employee recognition, and government policy.

Small Business Outlook – Optimism, Recovery, and Concerns

1. Small business owners’ confidence in the national economy is growing – from 40 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in 2015.

2. Millennials (61 percent) are still more positive about the direction of the national economy than Baby Boomers (30 percent) and Gen-Xers (58 percent).

3. Two out of three small business owners (63 percent) plan to grow their business in the next five years.

4. Recovery from the Great Recession lingers. Only 21 percent of small business owners report a complete recovery and 41 percent say they have somewhat recovered.

Chart source – Bank of America

5. The top four concerns of small business owners include: healthcare costs (70 percent), effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (69 percent), consumer spending (59 percent), and the strength of the U.S. dollar (59 percent).

How Small Business Owners Make Ends Meet

6. When asked what they would do if forced to make ends meet in a challenging financial situation, 67 percent of small business owners said they would delay or reduce their own compensation.

7. The majority of small business owners work long hours; 55 percent work 50+ hours weekly with 10 percent working 70+ hours weekly.

8. To make ends meet, most small business owners take on personal financial responsibility. For example, 35 percent use personal credit cards, 32 percent delayed compensation, and 29 percent took out a personal loan. Only 11 percent said they laid off employees or delayed employee compensation.

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