Entrepreneurs Remain Focused on Attracting and
Retaining Talent Amid Inflation and Supply Chain Pressures
CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 27,
2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of U.S. small
business owners (72%) are concerned about the impact of a potential
recession, however 76% are confident their business could withstand
the downturn, according to the Bank of America 2023 Small Business
Owner Report (PDF). The survey of more than 1,000
business owners across the country found that, despite the
continued impact of inflation and supply chain issues, 65% of
business owners anticipate revenue growth in the next 12
Small business owners were also asked about topics including
future plans, sustainability, employee retention and labor.
Conducted in March and April, other findings include:
- 79% of business owners raised prices over the last 12
- 53% added benefits and perks to retain talent.
- 49% plan to use automation and artificial intelligence (AI)
tools for their business in 2023.
- 34% believe the national economy will improve in the next 12
"While the dual pressures of inflation and supply chain
disruptions continue to incumber operations, small business owners
remain bullish about their prospects for the year ahead," said
Sharon Miller, President of Small
Business and Head of Specialty Banking and Lending at Bank of
America. "Small businesses are poised for growth, implementing
strategies to retain and attract talent and exploring new tools
including artificial intelligence to gain an edge in a highly
Watch this message from Sharon
Economic Concerns and Business Outlook
(79%) and a potential recession (72%) top business owners' concerns
over the next 12 months. These entrepreneurs also expressed anxiety
around commodities prices (68%), the U.S. political environment
(68%), rising interest rates (67%) and supply chain (57%).
Despite these concerns, the bottom line remains strong for many
entrepreneurs. Fifty-six percent of business owners reported
increased revenue in 2022 compared to 2021, and looking ahead at
the next 12 months, 48% plan to expand their business (vs. 37% last
spring). Additionally, 82% intend to obtain financing in the year
ahead (vs. 70% last spring).
Retention Efforts and Hiring Plans
with labor shortages and a competitive job market, business owners
are increasingly focused on employee retention. Over the past 12
months, 53% have added additional benefits and perks to existing
compensation packages, including remote/hybrid work (34%),
cost-of-living bonuses (34%) and more vacation time (33%). And 75%
of these business owners said their efforts meaningfully impacted
employee morale and retention.
Additionally, 34% of business owners plan to hire in 2023, up
from 26% last spring. Over the past 12 months, 51% implemented
additional perks and benefits to attract new talent, such as
increased base pay for new employees (54%), remote/hybrid work
(30%), new employee training or resource groups (27%) and
additional healthcare benefits (27%).
Entrepreneurs Embrace Sustainability Despite
Three-in-four SBOs have already implemented
sustainable business practices, such as reducing paper usage,
establishing environmentally friendly habits in their work
environment and working with sustainable vendors. While
implementation challenges exist—82% of entrepreneurs cited
challenges such as increased costs (49%), limited supplier options
(29%) and variable quality of sustainable products/services (26%)
as primary obstacles—78% of business owners plan to implement
sustainable practices over the next 12 months.
Continued Digitization of Business Operations
the past year, 80% of small business owners adopted digital tools
for their business, leveraging digital banking to manage their
finances and social media to reach their customers. Business owners
are also embracing AI and automation, with 49% planning to use AI
tools to enhance their business in 2023.
Looking ahead, 55% of entrepreneurs anticipate accepting
exclusively digital payments at some point in the future, and 90%
say digital tools help make their operations more efficient,
helping them save time and stay organized.
For an in-depth look at the insights of the nation's small
business owners, please read the full Bank of America
2023 Small Business Owner Report (PDF).
Providing a Business Advantage to Small Business
Bank of America provides advice, solutions,
access to capital and dedicated support to meet the unique needs of
our 11 million business owner clients. According to the FDIC, Bank
of America maintained its position as the nation's top small
business lender at the end of 2022, with $36.2 billion in total outstanding small business
loans (defined as business loans in original amounts of
$1 million and under).
Bank of America 2023 Small Business Owner Report
Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the Bank of
America 2023 Small Business Owner Report survey online between March 16 and April 10, 2023, using a
pre-recruited online sample of small business owners. Ipsos
contacted a national sample of 1,145 small business owners in
the United States with annual
revenue between $100,000 and
$4,999,999 and employing between two
and 99 employees. In addition, approximately 250 small business
owners were surveyed in each of ten target markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los
New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The final results for the
national and designated market area segments were weighted to
national benchmark standards for size, revenue and region.
Prior to 2016, previous waves of the Small Business Owner Report
survey were conducted by telephone and while best efforts were made
to replicate processes, differences in sample, weighting and method
suggests caution when making direct statistical comparisons of the
results from pre-2016 and post-2016.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the
world's leading financial institutions, serving individual
consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large
corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset
management and other financial and risk management products and
services. The company provides unmatched convenience in
the United States, serving
approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with
approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000
ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 56
million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader
in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading
across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations,
governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of
America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million
small business households through a suite of innovative,
easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves
clients through operations across the
United States, its territories and more than 35 countries.
Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New
York Stock Exchange.
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