LA Small Businesses Optimistic Despite Challenges

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ByI. Mitic
August 19, 2019

Los Angeles small-business owners are generally optimistic about the economy despite labor shortages and increased living costs. This is the conclusion of a survey conducted by the 1st Century Bank, MidFirst Bank division, entitled “Los Angeles Small Business Attitudes.”

Conducted in collaboration with Beacon Economics, the survey included CEOs, managing partners, CFOs and CTOs, among other small-business representatives. Most survey participants run small businesses with up to 75 employees.

Despite chronic concerns about the economy, nearly 80% of small-business leaders think the economic situation in Los Angeles will be better in six months, and 65 percent believe the national economy will improve over the same period.

Here are some of the most significant survey findings:

  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents expressed concern that increased healthcare costs could endanger their business. Healthcare expenditures are perceived as the biggest economic threat by LA small-business owners.
  • About 64% of small-business owners fear that natural disasters can have a harmful impact on their business. Southern California is prone to earthquakes and has recently suffered devastating fires.
  • When asked why they are considering relocating their businesses from Los Angeles, 76% said they are seriously considering moving because of Los Angeles's high housing costs.
  • Finding qualified employees is an issue for about 66% of small businesses, with 36% of respondents saying they have job vacancies that they are unable to fill.

Beacon Economics research director Adam Fowler says the insights provided by the survey represent a precise snapshot of the overall small-business sector, which is the backbone of the US economy. "The owners and operators of these businesses are on the front lines of economic activity every day – that's why this research is so important to analyze and learn from," he said.

According to Jason DiNapoli, CEO of 1st Century Bank, the research is the latest in a series of bank activities that support the local small-business community. Information and data from the Los Angeles Small Business Attitudes Survey will help 1st Century Bank provide more customized service, he said.

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