Earlier this month, Bank of America released the latest findings of its Fall 2016 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report—a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. This fall’s report explores the evolving small business landscape, including economic and business outlooks, sources of financing and reliance on family, friend and community support.
In this iteration of the report, Bank of America did a deep dive into small business owner support systems, finding that a significant majority of entrepreneurs receive emotional, operational and/or financial assistance from their families, while more than one-third have received financial gifts or loans from their family or friends. Also, more than half of small business owners say their loved ones play an important role—such as an advisor, investor or employee—in their business.
This strong support has proven to be a bright spot in the current cautious and conservative small business landscape. The Bank of America survey found that 2017 revenue expectations, hiring plans and five-year growth plans all remained relatively flat at the moderate levels reported in our spring report. Top economic concerns in the year ahead include health care costs, the effectiveness of the U.S. government and consumer spending.
In addition to the main report findings, we found some interesting data points specific to women small business owners, including:
- Women small business owners are more likely to expect their revenue to increase over the next 12 months (56 percent vs. 50 percent of men).
- The families of women small business owners are more likely to have influence over business decisions, compared to their male counterparts (47 percent vs. 34 percent).
- Women business owners are more likely to say family and friends help them the most when it comes to running their business (39 percent vs. 32 percent of men).