Sharon Miller: November 28, 2017

Small Businesses on Track to Beat Revenues as Confidence in the Economy Surges,  According to Bank of America Survey

Urban Entrepreneurs Plan for Growth, Rural Counterparts Foresee Improvements in the Economy


Sharon Miller

Head of Small Business, Bank of America



According to the fall 2017 Bank of America Business Advantage Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of 1,000 small business owners across the country, small business owners’ confidence in the economy has surged– although entrepreneurs plans for hiring and growth have cooled

Topics Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller is available to discuss include:

  • Small business owners’ economic outlook, concerns and growth expectations
  • How entrepreneurs’ outlooks differ by demographic area, gender and generations
  • The significance of physical communities and reliance on social media
  • The importance of attracting and retaining talent

Bank of America Fall 2017 Small Business Owner Report Key Findings:

  • SBOs’ confidence in the economy and revenue climbs as hiring and growth plans cool:
    • Nearly half of business owners expect their local and the national economies to improve in the year ahead (up 11 percentage points and 15 percentage points, respectively, from fall 2016)
    • 71% are optimistic their 2017 year-end revenue will surpass 2016 revenue and 51% expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months
    • More than half plan to grow their business over the next five years (vs. 55% in fall 2016)
    • Only 16% plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months (vs. 25% in fall 2016)
  • SBOs’ outlook on the economy and future of their business varies by geographic area, gender and generations, key difference include:
    • 57% of urban business owner plan to grow their business over the next five years (vs. 50% of rural)
    • 43% of millennials plan to hire in the year ahead (vs. 25% of Gen-Xers and 11% of boomers)
    • More than half of women SBOs expect their revenue to increase in 2018 (vs. 48% of men)
  • While entrepreneurs recognize the importance of social media, they are more likely to view in-person interactions and networks as more valuable
    • Nearly half say social media is important to the success of their business and 30% say social media has had a positive impact on their business’ bottom line
    • 73% say they turn primarily to in-person interactions for support in running their business
  • The majority of entrepreneurs have taken steps over the past two years to retain talent, including offering flexible hours or work locations (34%), providing perks, such as office happy hours (17%) and giving spot bonuses and rewards (15%)
  • Small business growth heavily impacted by ability to retain employees and customer demand
    • When asked what factors most impact their ability to grow, SBOs said customer demand (93%), positive economic environment (92%) and ability to attract and retain employees (76%)


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More About Bank of America Executive Sharon Miller:

Sharon Miller is the Head of Small Business at Bank of America. Her team is responsible for delivering business and personal financial solutions to the company’s 3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs. Miller’s team of more than 2,000 associates delivers advice and guidance on cash management, business financing, home lending, investments and retirement. Prior to this role, Miller was Central Division Executive for Financial Center Sales and Merrill Edge® at Bank of America. In this role, she led financial center teams working in nearly 900 locations across 11 states, providing a full range of financial products, services and expertise to over 8 million Bank of America households. Miller joined Bank of America in 1996. She started her career as a Financial Advisor in Houston, Texas. She has held various leadership positions in the company, including National Sales Executive for Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge®, Complex Director for Merrill Lynch in Texas, Regional Executive for the Premier Banking and Investment business, and Market Executive for Nevada. Miller has been actively involved in the Bank of America community throughout her career. She has been an active member of Bank of America’s Diversity Council, has served on Merrill Lynch’s Director Advisory Council to Management and has held numerous market leadership roles across the country. Miller has held leadership positions in United Way, March of Dimes and Communities in Schools.

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