According to the Spring 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, more than two out of three New York City small businesses are still suffering from the effects of the Great Recession. This 68% figure is well above the national average of 64% and all other major cities including Miami at 61%, Los Angeles at 60% and Chicago 59%.
New York City small businesses optimistic despite problems
The BoA report highlights that Big Apple small business owners are still optimistic about their businesses in the future. In fact, 645 of small business owners plan to expand in the next five years. moreover, 59% are projecting revenue growth in 2015.
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Just over 44% of New York City entrepreneurs replied that they were planning to hire more employees this year, but 48% noted problems in finding qualified staff. Metro New York small business people say the top challenges related to qualified staff a skills gap (61%) and high compensation demands (48%).
Impact of government policies
New York small business owners are becoming more concerned about health care costs compared to the prior report (73% versus 65% six months ago). That said, they are notably less worried about other issues than they were six months ago, including the effectiveness of U.S. government leaders (63% compared to 81%), the strength of the U.S. dollar (50% compared to 69%), interest rates (50% compared to 62%) and the global stock market (42% compared to 52%).
Metro New York small business owners replied to the survey by saying that the biggest positive impact on their business from a government policy would come from bigger tax breaks for automatically enrolling employees into retirement savings accounts (33%) and incentives to keep jobs on U.S. soil (29%). The policies reported as potentially having the most negative impact on their business are mandating health care plans for employees (36%) and requiring sick leave for employees (32%).
NYC small businesses support each other
Big Apple small business owners are strong supporters of other small businesses in the area. A solid 69% of NYC small business people gave themselves an “A” or “B” for buying from local small businesses. They also positively self-rated the local community in “shopping small”, as 63% gave an “A” or “B” when asked to assess how well local residents support small businesses.
On the other hand, a mere 28% of New York City entrepreneurs believe that policymakers appreciate small business owners.
See full study below.