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66% of small U.S. business owners expect revenue increases over next year, 52% plan to expand

Christian Fernsby |
Despite headwinds from supply chains, inflation and labor shortages, small business owners are forecasting a strong year ahead, according to the 2022 Women & Minority Business Owner Spotlight, a new report from Bank of America exploring the outlook of entrepreneurs nationwide.

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The report is based on a survey of more than 1,300 small business owners across the country, with additional insights into gender and ethnicity, and found that revenue expectations rose to a seven-year high, and expansion plans increased significantly since the spring.

Over the next 12 months:

66% of business owners expect revenue to increase—a seven-year high

52% plan to expand their business—up from 37% this spring

83% plan to obtain funding for their business—up from 70% this spring

As the possibility of a recession looms, 77% of entrepreneurs say their business is equipped to survive a recession.

When asked about their primary concerns, small business owners identified inflation (75%) and commodities prices (69%), followed by a potential recession (67%), the U.S. political environment (66%) and interest rates (65%). A strong majority (88%) say inflation and supply chain issues (80%) are continuing to impact their operations, leading to price increases.

Amid labor shortages, business owners reported that their hiring plans are reaching the highest levels in seven years, with 38% planning to hire in the next 12 months.

The majority (61%) of business owners say labor shortages are currently impacting their business, up from 41% in the spring. Among those business owners impacted:

49% are working more hours

31% are raising wages to attract competitive talent

30% are having difficulty filling job openings

More than a quarter (29%) of women business owners surveyed said they do not think they will ever have equal access to capital, while 40% of Black business owners, 27% of Hispanic-Latino business owners and 22% of AAPI business owners said the same.

Minority business owners reported more challenges accessing capital for their businesses than the national average, with 46% of Black and Hispanic-Latino business owners and 55% of AAPI business owners reporting they've personally faced challenges. Black business owners were most likely to say they are concerned about credit availability—57% of Black business owners surveyed expressed concern vs. 45% overall.

Women business owners have an overall positive business outlook, while confidence in their business and the broader economic landscape is more tempered than their male peers. Over the next 12 months:

63% expect revenue to increase vs. 68% of male business owners

47% plan to expand their business vs. 57% of male business owners

38% are confident that the national economy will improve vs. 50% of male business owners

Overall, women business owners say they face more challenges in business than their male counterparts, with the majority (59%) saying they have to work harder for the same success as men.

Fifty-five percent of Black business owners say racial justice and equity are important causes for their business, compared to 30% of non-Black business owners. Eighty-seven percent of Black business owners say they are committed to driving social change through their business, and two in five have active pledges or commitments toward social causes through their business, including volunteering, making operational changes and monetary commitments.

As a result of these efforts:

61% say they have increased sales

40% say they deepened ties to their community

34% say they have increased their customer base

In addition, Black business owners are more optimistic than their non-Black counterparts about their business outlook.

Over the next 12 months:

72% expect revenue to increase vs. 63% of non-Black business owners

65% plan to expand their business vs. 50% of non-Black business owners

Keeping the future of their families in mind, a strong majority (86%) of Hispanic-Latino business owners are committed to building generational wealth through their business—compared to 77% of non-Hispanic-Latino business owners.

Community involvement is a priority, too: 88% of Hispanic-Latino business owners say they actively give back to their communities, taking actions such as donating products/services, volunteering and sponsoring local events and teams.

Additionally, Hispanic-Latino business owners are more optimistic than their non-Hispanic-Latino peers about their business outlook.

Over the next 12 months:

71% expect revenue to increase vs. 65% of non-Hispanic-Latino business owners

59% plan to expand their business vs. 52% of non-Hispanic-Latino business owners

AAPI business owners report strong support systems, as 80% say their family supports their business. Providing for the next generation is also top of mind, with 82% of AAPI business owners aiming to build generational wealth through their business. Additionally, more than one in three (37%) AAPI business owners said they received guidance on starting their business from family members.

When asked about their business outlook for the coming 12 months, 62% of AAPI business owners said they expect their revenues to increase, while 60% said they plan to expand their business (vs. 52% of non-AAPI business owners).

Apollo Endosurgery to be acquired by Boston Scientific, enterprise value $615 million

Apollo Endosurgery announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by Boston Scientific in an all-cash transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $615 million.


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