Dallas/Fort Worth Is Open for Business: Bank of America Survey Finds Area Small Business Owners Plan to Increase New Hires in 2016

Despite Lingering Economic Concerns, Local Entrepreneurs Plan for a
Robust 2016

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Small business owners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are overwhelmingly
optimistic about their businesses over the next 12 months, according to
the fall
2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
, a semi-annual
study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small
business owners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and around the country.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Dallas/Fort Worth small business
owners anticipate an increase in revenue over the next 12 months, an 8
percentage point jump from last year. Area small business owners are
also planning to hire more in 2016: 65 percent have indicated that they
plan to add employees in the next 12 months, compared with 46 percent in
fall 2014. This represents the highest rate of intent to hire since the
inception of the survey in 2012.

Not surprisingly, this expected growth demands more capital. More than
one in four (27 percent) Dallas small business owners plan to apply for
a loan in 2016. More than half (57 percent) of those applying for a loan
say they intend to use the capital to invest in new equipment.

“Dallas/Fort Worth small business owners have demonstrated extraordinary
resilience and perseverance these last few years, and they’re excited
about growing their business in 2016,” said Jeffrey Coomer, Dallas/Fort
Worth small business banker manager at Bank of America. “The local spike
in confidence in the economy, revenue growth and hiring will lead to a
bright future for the area in the year ahead.”

Economic confidence is on the rise, despite lingering concerns
Worth small business owners are also bullish on the local economy:
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) believe the local Dallas/Fort Worth
economy will improve in the next year, an increase of 11 percentage
points from a year ago. Almost half (48 percent) also expressed
confidence in the national economy (versus 44 percent a year ago).
Skepticism remains on the performance of the global economy, as almost
one-third (32 percent) expressed confidence, compared to 33 percent one
year ago.

When asked about their top concerns, Dallas/Fort Worth small business
owners believe the following factors could potentially impact their
businesses over the next 12 months:

  • The upcoming U.S. presidential election (40 percent).
  • The possibility of a minimum wage increase (38 percent).
  • The possibility of future interest rate hikes (37 percent).
  • Financial crises in countries abroad [i.e., China and Greece] (34

Area small business owners slowly adopting popular workplace trends
Worth small businesses are supporting more flexible work arrangements
for employees, with 41 percent offering telecommuting options, compared
with 27 percent five years ago. However, Dallas/Fort Worth small
businesses trail their counterparts nationally when it comes to those
offering telecommuting (47 percent).

Similar to their peers nationwide, small business owners in the
Dallas/Fort Worth area are beginning to offer nontraditional perks,
including office happy hours (21 percent), areas to relax and unwind,
such as nap pods or game rooms (15 percent) or the ability to bring pets
to work (14 percent).

Cybersecurity raises concerns; Dallas/Fort Worth small businesses

Nearly one in 10 (8 percent) Dallas/Fort Worth small
business owners have been the victim of a cybersecurity breach. Although
this trails the national average of 12 percent, Dallas entrepreneurs are
still showing concern: More than half (54 percent) of area small
business owners worry about the security of their customers’ proprietary
data, and more than half (54 percent) of local small business owners say
they are prepared for an attack.

Dallas/Fort Worth owners looking forward to a successful year-end
Worth small business owners expect to end the year on a high note: 81
percent say it’s likely they will hit their year-end revenue goal, which
is 10 percentage points higher than last year. Many small business
owners in the area intend to offer year-end perks to their employees,
including salary bonuses (54 percent), office closures (49 percent) or a
holiday party (45 percent).

When it comes to holiday milestones, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are
not necessarily critical to Dallas business owners’ bottom line.
Fifty-seven percent say Black Friday has no impact on their business’
bottom line, and similarly, 64 percent think Cyber Monday is overhyped
and has no significance to their business’ bottom line.

For an in-depth look at the attributes of the nation’s small business
owners, read the full fall
2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
, and for additional
insights from small business owners in Dallas/Fort Worth and across the
country, download the Small Business Owner Report local insights
infographic here.

About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
Research, Inc. conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
survey by phone from August 21 through September 22, 2015, on behalf of
Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of
1,001 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 surveyed in each
of 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 is +/- 5.7 percent, reported at a 95 percent
confidence level.

The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf and for the
exclusive use 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

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banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving
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