Sharon Miller: November 29, 2016

Bank of America Survey Finds Family, Friends and Community Vital to Small Business Success

Growth and Revenue Expectations Remain Flat Heading into 2017



Managing Director, Head of Small Business, Bank of America

Eighty-three percent of small business owners report receive financial, operational and/or emotional support from their family, according to the fall 2016 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report: a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of 1,000 small business owners across the country.

Topics Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller is available to discuss include:

·         How Small Business Owners Lean on Family, Friends and the Local Community for Support

·         Small Business Owners’ Economic Outlook and Top Concerns for 2017

·         The Lifecycle of Funding for Small Businesses

·         2016 Holiday Outlook

Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Key Findings:

·         SBOs are getting by with a little help from their family, friends and community:

  • 38% have received financial gifts or loans from family or friends to fund their business
  • After borrowing or receiving a financial gift from their family or friends, SBOs feel grateful or appreciative (66%), more motivated to succeed (39%) and anxiousness or pressure to pay it back (30%)
  • 53% rely on family to serve at least one important role in their business, including: partner or co-owners (29%), employee (26%) or strategic advisor (9%)
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) report that residents in their community actively support local businesses and 47% say their local community plays an important role in the success of their individual enterprise

·         SBOs are lukewarm on revenue, growth and the economy:

  • Only half (52%) of SBOs expect their revenue to increase, one-quarter (25%) plan to hire more employees within the next year, and 55% plan to grow their business over the next five years
  • 37% expressed confidence that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months; 31% said the same of the national economy

·         Most SBOs rely on financing from personal savings when first starting out and shift to bank loans and personal credit cards once established

  • As their businesses were getting off the ground, the top funding resources for SBOs are: personal savings (76%), personal credit cards (36%), bank loans (25%) and family and friends (21%)
  • Once established, the top resources are: bank loans (43%) and personal credit cards (42%), but only 7% rely on support from family and friends

·         SBOs are feeling positive about their revenue heading into the holidays and plan to offer perks to employees

  • 51% of entrepreneurs in the retail, consumer products and wholesale industries expect to generate more holiday revenue this year than they did in 2015
  • A majority (72%) of all SBOs plan to offer at least one perk to employees this holiday season


More About Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller:

Sharon Miller is the Head of Small Business at Bank of America. Her team is responsible for delivering business and personal financial solutions to the company’s 3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs. Miller’s team of more than 2,000 associates delivers advice and guidance on cash management, business financing, home lending, investments and retirement. Prior to this role, Miller was Central Division Executive for Financial Center Sales and Merrill Edge® at Bank of America. In this role, she led financial center teams working in nearly 900 locations across 11 states, providing a full range of financial products, services and expertise to over 8 million Bank of America households. Miller joined Bank of America in 1996. She started her career as a Financial Advisor in Houston, Texas. She has held various leadership positions in the company, including National Sales Executive for Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge®, Complex Director for Merrill Lynch in Texas, Regional Executive for the Premier Banking and Investment business, and Market Executive for Nevada. Miller has been actively involved in the Bank of America community throughout her career.  She has been an active member of Bank of America’s Diversity Council, has served on Merrill Lynch’s Director Advisory Council to Management and has held numerous market leadership roles across the country. Miller has held leadership positions in United Way, March of Dimes and Communities in Schools.

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