Provident Bank survey: Small business owners confident revenues will improve

A majority of small business owners are confident revenues for their business will improve over the next year, according to Provident Bank’s most recent Small Business Confidence Survey.

The survey found 80% of small business owners are expecting an uptick in revenue. The findings were based on an online survey of more than 400 small business owners conducted in May.

The poll suggested the small business sector is prospering, with 60% of small business owners saying they believe the current economic climate has positively impacted their business with increased revenues. Only 10% said it has hurt their business.

Hiring is also likely to improve for small businesses, the poll found, with 35% of respondents saying they are planning to hire 1 to 5 new employees, 23% are planning to hire 6 to 10, and 24% are planning to hire 10 or more.

The survey also pinpointed the top concerns of small business owners.

They include:

  1. Finding ways to grow revenue (32%);
  2. Finding and retaining qualified employees (16%);
  3. Maintaining cash flow (16%);
  4. Health care costs (15%);
  5. Corporate taxes (10%).

Since growth is on the horizon for the industry, respondents said over the next year they are planning to offer new products (22%), increase spending (16%), move or expand locations (11%) and pursue additional financing (10%).

“At Provident Bank, our branches work with small businesses every day and we are pleased that a strong economy is helping maintain their confidence levels,” Josephine Moran, executive vice president, director of retail banking, said. “Our survey of small business owners matches the results of the National Federation of Independent Business’s most recent Small Business Optimism Index which also reported increased sales, strong job creation and hiring, improved businesses conditions, and credit conditions for small businesses.”

The survey also asked respondents about their most recent experiences with their financial institutions.

Most said they are “pleased” with their current bank, as 41% said they were “extremely pleased”, 43% said they were “somewhat pleased”, 15% said they were “neutral” and 1% said they were “very displeased”.