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Atlanta small business owners’ plans to hire among highest in nation

Staff Writer | November 16, 2016
Atlanta small business owners’ expectations for future growth are higher than those of their peers nationwide, according to the fall 2016 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report.
Atlanta small business
Doing business   Bank of America Small Business Owner Report
Seventy-one percent of local small business owners expect their revenue to increase over the next 12 months, compared to the national average of 52 percent and highest among the 10 major cities surveyed.

Atlanta entrepreneurs are also 24 percentage points more likely to grow their business over the next five years than small business owners nationwide.

To support their growth plans, 46 percent of Atlanta small business owners plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months, an increase of 14 percentage points in just six months and 21 percentage points higher than the national average.

Despite optimism in the economy and business growth, Atlanta small business owners are concerned about the impact of many economic factors.

The cost of health care is the most prominent concern, with 74 percent of local entrepreneurs worried it will impact their business during the next year.

When starting their businesses, the majority (72 percent) of Atlanta business owners used their personal savings, while 34 percent used personal credit cards.

Compared to their national counterparts, local entrepreneurs were more likely to seek funding from banks (32 percent vs. 25 percent nationwide) and from friends and/or family (31 percent vs. 21 percent) when first starting their businesses.

Even when their businesses are up and running, Atlanta-based business owners are more likely to rely on friends or family (17 percent vs. 7 percent nationwide) for financial support.

The top two funding sources for established businesses are personal credit cards (43 percent) and banks (38 percent).

Two-thirds of Atlanta entrepreneurs have borrowed from a family member or friend, and of these, 85 percent don’t regret asking them to invest in their business.

Instead, they feel grateful and appreciative (67 percent) and more motivated to succeed (51 percent), however, 19 percent of Atlanta business owners do say they feel anxious or pressure to pay it back.

Forty-five percent of Atlanta small business owners say their family and friends help the most when it comes to running their business, compared to 35 percent nationally.

Family provides support to small business owners in a number of ways, including emotional support (62 percent) and helping with the operation of their business (34 percent).